These are happy times for Manchester United as they presently sit top of the Premier League table for the first time since 2013, after trouncing struggling Sunderland 3-0 last weekend.
But United’s European campaign did not start on a good note, as they lost 2-1 to PSV Eindhoven in their first game a fortnight ago. They will now be looking to bounce back to victory against Wolfsburg tonight, no matter what it takes.
Meanwhile, boss Louis van Gaal has a number of injury concerns ahead of the encounter, with veteran midfielder Michael Carrick, Paddy McNair, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia and Ander Herrera all doubts for the game, while Luke Shaw is definitely out as the England left-back is set to face a long time on the sidelines.
Having said that, this is how we believe the Dutchman should prepare his team to start;
David De Gea should continue in goal for United, having shown how crucial he is for the team with a number of important saves since his return to the starting XI.
Since the Red Devils will be without the injured duo of Valencia and Rojo as they did not participate in the session yesterday, Ashely Young has been presented with a huge chance of starting the game in a role he is familiar with.
Despite being more like a bit-part player for van Gaal this term, the former Aston Villa wide man has put up admirable displays when called upon.
The central defence partnership of Chris Smalling and Daley Blind has been awesome this season, conceding just five league goals – the lowest of any Premier League side alongside Spurs – hence, van Gaal should field the English and Dutch duo again tonight.
At right-back, summer recruit has been a brilliant coup for United and the Italy international defender has become a familiar face among the Red Devils fans with his brilliant performances. The former Torino ace has also started all of United’s league game this term and should be allowed to continue again in the CL.
With Carrick a doubt for the game, there won’t be any need risking the former Tottenham midfielder. Therefore, the duo of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin should be fielded in front of the defence to provide the necessary shield.
Both players have the ability to dictate play from deep positions, and the experience of the veteran German ace will come into play when Wolfsburg visit the Theatre of Dreams tonight. Schneiderlin provides the steel and grit in midfield and should be able to curtail the threat of the Wolfsburg attackers in the game.
If the trio of Juan Mata, Memphis Depay and Wayne Rooney do not start this game, who else will? All three found the back of the net against the Black Cats during the weekend and they will be hoping to replicate their good run of form against Wolfsburg this evening.
Mata is gradually growing into his role at the club, and is United’s most creative players this term with 14 chances for his team-mates, as well as scoring three goals just one behind Anthony Martial.
On the other wing lies Depay, who fans will be hoping his goal at the weekend helps boost hims morale to help United to victory against the BuLi side.
Rooney should also start in the middle, behind the striker, and should be spurred on by his goal which put him joint-third United’s leading scorer with Denis Law on 171 goals. The England international had looked past his best this season, but a return to the number 10 role has seemingly changed things for good.
Four goals in his first four United games? Brilliant! At just 19, Anthony Martial has hit the ground running in the EPL and should get the nod to lead the line for United again tonight.
Martial provides space in the middle for the attacking trio of Mata, Rooney and Depay, and his ability to make decisive runs behind the back-line is always migraine-inducing for any defence.
The France international is currently Man United’s top goalscorer and his name should be the first on van Gaal’s list.