Wigan Athletic vs Manchester United – Predicted starting XI

by Tom Newbold

Manchester United has a remarkably good record against Wigan Athletic but their last trip the DW Stadium ended in defeat. This New Year’s Day game is the fourth of United’s four festive fixtures and a win would maintain a healthy lead at the head of the Premier League table. With an FA Cup game coming up four days later, it will be interesting to see how Ferguson utilises his squad for this game.


David de Gea – De Gea’s inclusion against West Brom was a sign of trust from the manager and he will probably play again at Wigan with the opportunity for Lindegaard to come in for the FA Cup game at West Ham.

Rafael – Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed Rafael is ready to return for this game and he will be most welcome after some shaky performances in the position from Chris Smalling.

Rio Ferdinand – After sitting on the bench for last Saturday’s game, it is likely that Ferdinand will come back in for Nemanja Vidic in this match. Vidic recently revealed he has to manage the amount of games he plays and a second start in four days would be unlikely.

Jonny Evans – Despite the possible return of Phil Jones and availability of Chris Smalling, it would be a surprise if Evans didn’t start this fixture. It will however be his fourth in a row, and may be his last start before a rest.

Patrice Evra -Evra plays an extraordinary amount of games for Manchester United and appears immune from fatigue. No doubt the Frenchman will play again versus Wigan.

Ashley Young – A rest for Antonio Valencia can be anticipated, particularly with his abstract form. Young is likely to switch to the right-wing with Giggs available on the left.

Michael Carrick – Like Evra, Carrick is another who plays an extraordinary amount of games for Manchester United. Whilst probably in need of a rest, it may not come in what could be a tough away fixture.

Tom Cleverley – The young Englishmen is in a rich vein of form and his partnership with Michael Carrick is flourishing. Expect Cleverley to start against Wigan.

Ryan Giggs – Giggs played well and exerted lots of energy against Newcastle on Boxing Day but a rest at the weekend means he should be fresh and ready to come in if required against Wigan.

Javier Hernandez – After not featuring against West Brom, Hernandez is due to come in for Kagawa who is still recovering from injury, and Welbeck who ran himself into the ground in Saturday’s match.

Robin van Persie – Van Persie was rested against West Brom but showed his quality when coming on from the bench. The Dutchman is invaluable to United at the moment, and will undoubtedly start versus Wigan.


Hernandez and van Persie will likely form a more traditional strike partnership against Wigan than we saw with Welbeck and Kagawa at the weekend. Otherwise, the formation is set to remain a similar 4-4-2, with Cleverley pushing on into forward space at times and freeing Carrick to have more of a playmaker role. Van Persie may well drop into a number 10 role should United look to spread the play more in order to exploit the Wigan’s wide areas. Forward ventures from United’s full backs may also prove successful against a narrow Wigan set-up, and because of this the return of Rafael is particularly timely.

Wigan Away

Who do you think will start tomorrow?

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