After a shaky start, Manchester United are back in the top four with their elbows out, ready to take on Premier League leaders Chelsea. United’s star players have been riddled with injury this season. Though it seems the Manchester United medical team have given the thumbs up for three players to rejoin the squad.
Could they be key components in Saturday’s clash between Chelsea and Manchester United?
Luke Shaw, whom we thought was Chelsea bound, has struggled to keep fit. Louis van Gaal notably made Shaw stay to train on his own after claiming he had returned from international duty unfit. Shaw will be returning to the United squad for this weekend’ss clash but I think although he offers better pace than his left-back counterpart Blind, he will not play. Van Gaal has finally struck a rich vein of form and will not be quick to change the ingredients of his winning side.
Michael Carrick worried Manchester United fans after hobbling off in the last few minutes of the Manchester derby, leaving the team with just 10 men. After examinations, this was not thought to be serious and he is set to play against Chelsea this weekend. This is not good news for Chelsea as it’s certainly no coincidence that when the vice-captain is fit United seem to win most games. Carrick is an important cog in United’s team structure as he controls the tempo of the game, passes intelligently and is good at instructing the centre backs on which moves to make.
Michael Carrick is important to Manchester United’s team in the same way that Nemanja Matic is pivotal in Chelsea’s. They are both the kind of players whose worth you might not fully realise until they miss a game. I think people forget, just because they are not up there scoring numerous goals, they are running the game from midfield and the whole operation would not run as smoothly without them.
Robin van Persie could also be fit in time for Saturday’s match. Although in the past he has been a vital part in United’s winning mentality, his return has divided the opinions of fans. During his time out injured United have bounced back and are climbing the Premier League table, hoping to finish above Arsenal in second position. So would it be best to introduce him back into the side who are working so well without him?
That is what the fans are concerned about, though I think perhaps they have stopped trying to understand what Dutchman Louis van Gaal’s thought process is. He may choose to start his compatriot, but I think having RVP on the bench is a far better option; he could be a deadly impact substitution. He is a risk to us because he scored against Chelsea in the previous tie but I think we ought to be more worried about the attacking prowess of Wayne Rooney who is finally back in position and doing what he loves best – scoring.
It will be an interesting game, mainly because if Manchester United’s form had been this great from the very beginning of the season the title race would be a much closer affair. I think those returning to the United side from injury will be a good asset to their entire squad, but they will not be the game changers this Saturday.