Manchester United are back in action just three-days after the 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in the Barclays Premier League, kicking off the new year against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium, kicking off at 12:45pm GMT.
There is some good news to start proceedings going into the new year, with the welcomed return of Ander Herrera to the squad, Louis van Gaal has confirmed, and with that in mind United Ramble predict that he will start in the middle of the park alongside Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney just in front.
Louis van Gaal continued with the same starting XI and formation in the festive fixtures, but we can see a ring of changes this match due to fatigue and various knocks, but we’ve gone and continued with the 3-5-2 formation.
Radamel Falcao started both matches against Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, in which he failed to score and would be due a rest. We predict that the United loanee will start on the bench, leading the way for young James Wilson to put some pace into the forward line along with the improved Robin van Persie.
Wayne Rooney, man-of-the-match against Newcastle, would start as a number ten, but capable of helping the midfield and even defence if needed. A roll that Rooney himself will no doubt take towards the latter of his career.
Antonio Valencia picked up a knock against Tottenham and had to be substituted at half-time, it is a good time for Rafael Da Silva to get a start for Manchester United after recovering from injury. On the other side we’ve gone for Luke Shaw, coming in for Ashley Young, despite impressing for United of late we predict that Young will start on the bench and Shaw getting the nod.
Moving toward the back, we’ve gone for a back three of Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, with David De Gea between the sticks.
What do you think of the formation to go up against Stoke City on Thursday? Comment in the United Ramble section at the bottom.