Sunday 17 April 2016

How LVG and United should prepare for biggest week in our season

Louis van Gaal faces his biggest week in charge of United and has key decisions to make against Crystal Palace and Everton.

After the 5-1 thumping of Midtjylland in February, the Reds had only 72 hours to prepare for the visit of Arsenal and were in the midst of another injury crisis.
Marcos Rojo had been rushed back for the second leg and United would finish the win over Arsene Wenger's side with a back four of Guillermo Varela, Michael Carrick, Daley Blind and Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

Van Gaal's over training- and the reported intensity of his methods in training- have contributed to physical and mental deficiencies during his 20 months at the helm. 

This week, United host Palace on Wednesday with an 8pm kick off before Saturday's 5.15pm kick off against Roberto Martinez's Everton in the FA Cup semi final at Wembley. 

The Reds planning may include a change of hotel following the belated arrival at White Hart Lane last weekend. 

Van Gaal began the team's preparations for the Cup semi as we hosted Aston Villa yesterday.

There were five changes to the midweek win with youngsters Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Fosu-Mensah rested, Ander Herrera injured and Michael Carrick also absent.

However ominous his future looks at United, Van Gaal cannot compromise United's Premier League campaign against Alan Pardew's fifth-from-bottom side, who have underachieved terribly in the league.

They have their own semi-final with Watford at Wembley to think about, which will doubtless impact Pardew's own team selection.

Van Gaal needs to rotate effectively whilst maintaining United's competitiveness.

The Dutchman said that the 4-3-3 he deployed was 'a risk' and did away with it against Villa as United supporters endured another anodyne afternoon.

United's best football under Van Gaal has come in the 4-3-3 with a midfield triangle, which brings the best out of our forwards and we should return to it in these next two matches.

The Eagles Old Trafford trip is a chance to rest Blind.

He has not missed a game since October and is a certain starter for Wembley, so he needs to be kept fresh for another battle with Romelu Lukaku.

Blind dealt with the Belgian powerhouse brilliantly in the recent league meeting having benefited from a five-day breather.

The Reds have a paucity of options at the back, so it could offer Fosu-Mensah a chance alongside Mike Smalling after he kept Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney in check last month.

Matteo Darmian needs game time- and recovery time- after his chastening cameo at Tottenham and should slot in at right-back.

The returning Wayne Rooney should be considered and Rashford rested whilst Marcos Rojo's erratic performances- particularly against Gerard Deulofeu- means that Ashley Young has a chance to reclaim the full-back slot that he had made his own. 

We should go with this against Palace...

and this against Everton 

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