By Andy Hyslop
- De Gea still missing from the squad, Romero set to continue in his place
- Phil Jones the only other absentee through illness
Venue: Villa Park Date and Kick-Off: Friday 14 August 7.45pm (BST)
Manchester United head to Villa Park on Friday night, looking to make it two wins out of two at the start of the new Premier League season.
Both these teams won their opening fixtures of the 2015/16 Premier League season 1-0. United beating Tottenham at Old Trafford and Aston Villa travelled to new boys Bournemouth and came away with the victory.
Manchester United have enjoyed some memorable moments at Villa Park down the years, Villa Park is almost like a second home to Manchester United. They haven’t lost a league game there since the opening day of the 1995/96 season. On that occasion Sir Alex Ferguson gave debuts to several youngsters and included members of the famous class of 92. United lost the 3-1, with United’s goal coming from a young lad named David Beckham. That defeat prompted Alan Hansen to say:
You Can’t Win Anything With Kids
I don’t think anyone needs to remind Mr Hansen what United achieved by the end of that season and what those kids would go on to achieve over their careers. They proved they weren’t just kids, they were very special players.
Back to present day, both teams go into this game with new signings. United so far have made five additions to their squad, with all five of them making their debuts against Tottenham last weekend. Romero, Darmian, Schneiderlin and Memphis all started the game. While Schweinsteiger played the final half an hour of the game, coming on as a substitute for Carrick.
United go into this with only De Gea missing, because of all the transfer speculation regarding his possible move to Madrid. I personally don’t think we see De Gea in a United shirt till September 12 against Liverpool if we ever do see him again play for Manchester United. The speculation about his future will only intensify as we reach the end of the window.
While United are also missing Phil Jones, who has mild thrombosis. I think it’s fair to say that Jones is seen as being injury prone by the majority of Manchester United fans but this one is just down to bad luck. He is luck that the doctor’s at United caught it when they did, it could have a lot more serious if they hadn’t.
Will Van Gaal stick the same starting eleven or will he make some changes. He certainly has options, will Schweinsteiger and Herrera come into the team having made substitute appearances against Tottenham. I believe that over the season Van Gaal will rotate his team but for this game will probably go for the same eleven from the start as against Tottenham.
Predicted Manchester United Starting XI: Romero, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Young, Memphis, Mata, Rooney