Manchester United visit Queens Park Rangers on Saturday in a battle between top and bottom. QPR’s impressive recent defensive record at home will be a test for United but with such a potent strike force, QPR will certainly face their toughest test to keep a clean sheet.
With no game until the following weekend, Sir Alex Ferguson will have little worry about the need for resting players. There are injuries to Phil Jones and Paul Scholes that have ruled them out of this game, whilst Wayne Rooney is also unavailable.
David de Gea – The 22 year old will be looking to start his 12th consecutive Premier League game at Loftus Road on Saturday as he cements his place as Manchester United’s first choice goalkeeper.
Rafael – A rest on Monday was needed for the youngster after two strenuous performances and Rafael will surely be raring to go against QPR. It could be the first time he and his twin Fabio ever play against each other in a competitive game of football too.
Rio Ferdinand – One of our most impressive and consistent performers this season. A rest on Monday for Ferdinand will mean he is fresh and prepared for this game against QPR.
Jonny Evans – The Northern Irishman is likely to continue his burgeoning defensive partnership with Ferdinand at the back.
Patrice Evra – Evra is likely to complete a fully changed back four from Manchester United’s last match.
Nani – An impressive performance from Nani is his last outing might well have bought him a start against QPR. The small pitch at Loftus Road doesn’t particularly suit traditional wing-play, hence a reason that the unpredictable Nani may be selected over the touchline-hugging Antonio Valencia.
Michael Carrick – Carrick only featured from the bench in Monday’s win over Reading and is almost certain to start at the ground where he scored a wonderful solo goal last season.
Tom Cleverley – Cleverley was purposeful and energetic in his last game against Reading and proved his worth to the team after missing out on selection in the Champions League. He is likely to be rewarded with another start on Saturday.
Ryan Giggs – The Welshman’s experience may be utilised at a tough away ground with Ashley Young possibly named on the bench as he continues to return from injury.
Shinji Kagawa – With an illness affecting Wayne Rooney, Shinji Kagawa could get a chance to play in his favoured position behind the striker as he did earlier on the season.
Robin van Persie – The Dutchman will be looking to add QPR to the list of teams he has scored against this season with a goal this weekend. He has scored 19 goals in the Premier League this season, the same as QPR as a team. Potent.
Manchester United are likely to set up in a 4-4-1-1 formation with Robin van Persie leading the line and Shinji Kagawa operating just behind him. The inclusion of Ryan Giggs on the left wing could lend itself to possible positional interchanges between Giggs and Kagawa.
If selected, Nani on his favoured right wing will need to have a clever and effective game in light of the narrow pitch at Loftus Road. Meanwhile the combination of Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley in midfield will need to look to recycle the ball quickly in order to unsettle an organised QPR side. Cleverley’s growing footballing relationship with Shinji Kagawa in advanced positions could well be the key to unlocking the opposition defence.