All four teams in Group B of the Champions League have collected three points after first two games and United’s visit to Moscow will be another tough game for the Red Devils. Let’s see how the Van Gaal’s first XI could look on Wednesday night.
Goalkeeper: David de Gea
After his move to Real Madrid was unsuccessful during the summer, De Gea reclaimed his starting spot, and he will certainly get another start ahead of Romero. The Spaniard collected three clean sheets in the last five games.
Right Back: Matteo Darmian
Darmian should start another game after establishing his place in first XI following his move from Torino. He is better than Antonia Valencia in the defensive duties and even though the Ecuadorian starred for his country recently, Darmian is clearly the number one choice for the right-back position.
Centre Back: Chris Smalling
Smalling played every single minute in the BPL and Champions League so far, and he also added one goal in the European elite competition this season. His place in the team is certain.
Centre Back: Phil Jones
Van Gaal preferred to play Daley Blind along Smalling at the CB position in the Champions League, but the Englishman will likely get his start against CSKA. Marcos Rojo is another player who is Jones’ competition; however, he will probably be deployed to left back.
Left Back: Marcos Rojo
Following the terrible injury that forced Luke Shaw to miss the rest of the season, Van Gaal is facing with troubles at the left back position. Rojo, Blind and Young are the players who could step in, but the Argentinian is the most familiar with this role, so I believe he will start on Wednesday.
Central Midfield: Morgan Schneiderlin
The Frenchmen established himself in starting lineup, usually in partnership with Schweinsteiger. Man United has another two excellent midfielders in this position: Fellaini and Carrick, but I think that Schneiderlin’s place is secured.
Central Midfield: Bastian Schweinsteiger
Unlike Schneiderlin’s, the German’s place is not 100% certain in first XI, but he is mostly used in Champions League this season. Fellaini is clearly out of favor in Van Gaal’s plans, so his competition could be Michael Carrick.
Left Wing: Memphis Depay
Depay struggled recently with his national side. He was an unused substitute in the last match against Everton. Memphis should get a start ahead of Ashley Young, however. He scored one goal in the competition thus far.
Attacking Midfielder: Wayne Rooney
A familiar position for the captain; however, he would like to be used as a striker. That position is reserved for the young Martial. Rooney should settle to play behind him as a false nine or secondary striker.
Right Wing: Juan Mata
Mata is arguably the best United’s player since the beginning of the season. His creativity, passing and scoring are crucial to the team. He scored four goals and added six assists in 14 games in all competitions.
Striker: Anthony Martial
Dubbed the new Thierry Henry, Martial started this campaign at very high level. His form dropped a bit lately, but he is still a team’s top scorer with five goals and should start.
Manchester United possible XI: De Gea – Matteo Darmian – Chris Smalling – Phil Jones – Marcos Rojo – Morgan Scheiderlin – Bastian Schweinsteiger – Memphis Depay – Wayne Rooney – Juan Mata – Anthony Martial