The biggest game of the season is finally here -almost- and the speculation as to who Sir Alex will pick to face Real Madrid has been running rife ever since the final whistle in the first leg.
At the Bernabeu Sir Alex Ferguson sprang a couple of surprises, mainly by playing Danny Welbeck and Shinji Kagawa who many believed would both be on the bench. The United’s boss’s tactics worked perfectly and it’s testament to his genius that many Reds actually felt disappointed to be coming away with a draw.
This time round it’s different as rather than the focus being on United getting a goal, it’s more about preventing Madrid getting one, although I don’t think anyone expects United to play for a nil-nil.
The main loss is Phil Jones who’s already been ruled out although there’s still doubts over Danny Welbeck who suffered a slight knock on Saturday.
Despite Shinji Kagawa’s hat-trick it wouldn’t be a total surprise if he wasn’t in the starting line up as Sir Alex may decide to shuffle his pack.
Sir Alex has confessed he’s not sure who will be his centre back pairing and all we can do is guess, so here’s my stab at naming the first team for tonight’s epic encounter.
United line-up: DDG, Rafael, Jonny Evans, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Wayne Rooney, Nani, Danny Welbeck, RVP.
It will be De Gea, Rafael, Evra, Vidic, Rio, Carrick, Giggs, Kagawa, Wellbeck, Rooney and Van Persie.
Good line up but hope vidic come in second half to secure more the defence because real madrid will attack more.
de gea rio, vidic, raphael, evra, carrick, cleverly, rooney. nani, rvp kagawa
I think Vidic in place of Evans and Anderson in place of Cleverley. The rest as it is.
i don´t think he will change a central pair that played so well in the first leg. Anderson doesnt look 100% ready for a game like this, it could be giggs or cleverley to patner carrick, can´t see nani playing from the start as we need to be as effective as possible when on the ball and nani although sometimes brilliant holds on to the ball for far too long and most of time loses possession
Where is chicharito he needs to play part?he is being sidelined.why?
A compact defense,good attacking formationa that is the winning team.Evans wl track ronaldo while carrick make sure khedira and alonso don’t run amok,giggs can defend and he is gud on tackles he can score too,kagawa cannot defend hence protection from rooney who can defend and attack as well,rvp wl hv those runs that confuses defenders and I bet rooney is going to score.kagawa wl create a lot of problems for defenders he is intelligent.I am worried on Evra he needs someone who will cover him he is very vulnerable.carrick maybe sloopy but at his best he will have killer passes and ronney at his best he is really difficult to play against.Rvp may and can score he needs a lot of the ball and kagawa can do that for him.
3.0 utd de gea rafael rio vidic evra nani carrick kawaga wlbeck roo rvp
Barring closely guarded last minute injuries these six
DDG RAFAEL EVRA CARRICK ROONEY RVP are nailed on
Two of RIo Vida and Evans will play at centre back.
I have no idea which pair he will go with on this occasion. There is little to separate them defensively. I would go for VIDA and EVANS because I think we can cause them big problems at set pieces and those two know where the goal is.
Assuming Fergie is prepared to ditch the centre back playing in midfield to fill defensive gaps tactic in the absence of Phil Jones he will surely play CLEVERLEY for his tactical awareness alongside Carrick. Anderson cannot defend the space behind him to save his life and I don’t think he will start with Giggs.
I think it is also almost certain he will go with NANI. Young and Valencia are both in poor form. Nani can be anything but he can be brilliant and is likely to draw fouls in areas where we want them.
That leaves one space which I think would have been earmarked for WELLBECK as evidenced by the fact he didn’t start against Norwich. He has the energy to harass Ramos and co into errors and his height adds to our chances of another set piece goal. Kagawa’s 2nd half display will have made Fergie think hard but I think he will start with Danny if he’s 100% fit.
So there is my preferred and largely expected side.
However given how well the tactic worked in Madrid and given how hard he will find it to leave out any of his three top centre backs (assuming Rio is fully recovered) and given how much he likes to retain an element of surprise I would not be totally amazed if he played Evans in front of Vidic and Ferdinand tonight. It would be a big risk but I still remember the Nou Camp. No Keane and Scholes so he plays Giggs on the right and Beckham in the middle and got away with it!!
DDG, Rafael, Jonny Evans, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Wayne Rooney, Nani, Danny Welbeck, RVP.
my lineup exactly, but I can see SAF start Valencia as he tracks back defensively better than Nani.