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Having already lost two of the six games played this season, the Red Devils still look like recovering from their disastrous campaign under David Moyes last season.
The suspension of captain Wayne Rooney comes as a bitter blow for Louis van Gaal’s charges. The England striker saw a straight red in his side’s last fixture against West ham for lashing out at Stewart Downing. The red thus means the 28 yr-old won’t be able to face his former side along with the next two fixtures against West Brom and Chelsea respectively,
Along with the suspension, United will have to do without no more than nine players through injuries. Michael Carrick, Jonny Evans, Jesse Lingaard, Marouane Fellaini, Chris Smalling, AshleyYoung, Phil Jones, Sam Johnstone are all out, while Ander Herrera the being the latest to join the treatment table due to a rib injury he incurred against The Hammers. Juan Mata is expeceted to fill in the no.10 role in Rooney’s absence, with rookie defender Paddy McNair is set to continue at the heart of the defence after impressing against West Ham.
“Juan Mata has played very well in his [Rooney’s] position. I have to choose. I will miss Wayne because he is the captain of the team but Mata can also play very well. We still have three central defenders injured so he [McNair] shall play. He is the only player who can play in the right-sided defensive position. I chose him last week and he was very good. It’s difficult for a player like him to maintain that level – that is his biggest challenge.” hinted van Gaal at the pre-match press conference.
Everton like their Sunday’s opponents have been far from convincing this season. Sitting just one place above the drop zone, The Toffees have won only one game in the Premier League. Roberto Martinez men though, will be in a positive mood coming in to this game, having won the corresponding fixture last season, thanks to a Bryan Oviedo tap-in late on.
James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman are both doubtful for Evrton, while Kevin Mirallas, who pulled his hamstring in the Merseyside derby, is certainly out. The return of Steven Pienaar and Sylvian Distin comes as a boost for Martinez. Tony Hibbert, who made his first start in almost two years against liverpool, might start in the absence of Coleman, while England U-21 international Tyias Browning is also in contention.
Form Guide (all competitions)
Manchester United : DDWLW
Everon : WLLDD
Possible starting XI’s :
Manchester United (4-3-1-2) : De Gea; Rafael, McNair, Rojo, Shaw; Blind; Valencia, Di Maria; Mata; Falcao, van Persie.
Manchester United (4-3-3) : Howard; Hibbert, Stones, Jagielka, Baines; McCarthy, Barry, Besic; Lukaku, Naismith, Pienaar.