Manchester United go into the Crystal Palace game this weekend having lost three consecutive games and are now firmly back in the race for an all-important Champions League qualification spot.
Michael Carrick has played no part in all three games thanks to injury but the 33-year-old is closing in on his return to fitness, and Louis van Gaal will be desperate to bring him back into the starting XI as soon as possible.
Although Carrick’s absence is not solely responsible for United’s dip in form, it’d be foolish to suggest the two weren’t at least linked.
What United haven’t struggled with in the last three games has been possession of the ball but it is what they have done with it that has lacked. There has been no penetrative play, passing has become static and players look unwilling to take a risk – areas where Carrick’s strengths can improve United’s football.
If there is one player who van Gaal wants to return to action this weekend, it’s Carrick you know.
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