By Kiran Thakare
- Herrera back in matchday squad
- Van Gaal set to rotate ahead of FA Cup semi-final against Everton
Manchester United gear up for the first match of a crucial week against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
United will be looking to continue the momentum in the league ahead of a FA Cup semi-final against Everton on Saturday. Three points for Van Gaal’s men will close the gap on both City and Arsenal.
City have played a game more than United and currently sit five points ahead after their draw with Newcastle this evening. While Arsenal face West Brom on Thursday evening.
United bounced back from the 3-0 defeat against Tottenham with an impressive performance against West Ham United in FA cup quarterfinal replay last Wednesday. They were adventurous in the final third against Hammers but laboured a narrow win against Aston Villa on Sunday.
On the other hand Crystal Palace have been enduring a very poor second half of the season.The London size grabbed a crucial win against Norwich to guarantee their safety this term. They will be high on confidence after gaining a crucial point against Arsenal on Sunday.
Louis Van Gaal admitted in the pre game press conference that there are no injuries after the game against Aston Villa. He also suggested that Herrera will be back into the United squad on Wednesday after suffering a minor foot injury against West Ham.
Luke Shaw, Schweinsteiger and Will Keane are the long term absentees for Manchester United. The German National coach has admitted that he is hopeful that Schweinsteiger will be able to play for Germany in Euros.
Van Gaal also gave an update over Shaw by saying that his training sessions with physiotherapist is going well and he will be soon back with his team-mates on the pitch to train.
Van Gaal will be looking to rotate as well as field a competitive side as three points are very important for the home side. De Gea will surely going to start in the goal. Smalling and Blind could start along with Darmian and Valencia in the back four.
The midfield two will probably consist of Schneiderlin and Fellaini as Carrick will be kept fresh for the game against Everton.
Rooney is likely to get minutes in the attacking midfield role as he played 60 minutes against Villa. Lingard and Mata are likely to occupy flanks with Martial leading the line as Rashford could be rested for Saturday’s game.
Alan Pardew did a brilliant job with Palace last season. They started well this term but lost their way after initial few months. After a string of poor performances and a poor 2016 till now they find themselves on 16th position, just above the relegation zone.
On their day Palace are a brilliant counterattacking team as they have loads of pace on flanks in the likes of Bolasie and former United player Zaha. They have ample amount of trickery in their armour to beat their man and get dangerous crosses in the box. Bolasie showed his shooting skills scoring a belter against Arsenal on Sunday.
Palace also have good midfield general in the form of Cabaye and United should be vary of him as he can play some dangerous balls in final third. He also has a good knack of arriving late in the box. Adebayor provides experience to the Palace strike force and Blind will have to be alert to keep the Togo international at bay.