Manchester United’s Under 21s return to action tonight against West Ham United’s under 21s at Leigh Sports Village, this is an important game for the under 21s as they aim to starve of the competition at the top of the Barclays Under 21 Premier League. Warren Joyce’s side currently sit on top of the league, they are one point in from of Liverpool having played a game more than them. They are two points clear of a host of teams including Tottenham and Leicester and have a game in hand on these teams.
Last time out the under 21s faced Everton at the Merseyrail Community Stadium in Southport, United won this game 2-1 thanks to goals from James Wilson and Paddy McNair. Wilson opened the scoring in the 8th minute of the game, Wilson still hobbling from a challenge in the 1st minute and would later be forced off and missed England u21s games in the recent International break. Wilson scored when Pereira nipped in after a mistake from the Everton defence after a diagonal pass from Januzaj. Pereira’s effort was saved by Everton keeper and Wilson gobbled up the rebound to put United in front. Despite being front United lacked an attacking threat with Wilson clearly struggling with the injury and was replaced on 40 minutes by Harrop. The second goal for United came on the stroke of half-time, when Pereira played in a set-piece that was only half cleared by the Everton Defence, with the ball falling to McNair who lobbed the ball into an unguarded Everton goal. Everton made it a nervy finish for United when they got back in the game in the dying stages through a goal from the penalty spot. United held on for the win though.
United will be looking to play their strongest possible team tonight, they will be looking to feature several players that have appeared in the first team this season. James Wilson, Paddy McNair, Andreas Pereira and Adnan Januzaj will be looking to make an impression as they look to force their way back into Louis Van Gaal’s first team plans, not just for the rest of this season McNair, Pereira and Januzaj were all unused substitutes in the first team’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa at the weekend. These players have clearly made an impression on Van Gaal and will be hoping to have a bright future at United as Van Gaal looks set to continue United’s tradition of developing their own players.
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