West Ham vs Man United: Three players who shouldn’t start

by Sam Peoples

Following up on our article naming three players we think Louis van Gaal needs to start against West Ham United on Wednesday night, here are three more players who the Dutchman simply has to leave out of his starting XI.

Marouane Fellaini

I’m expecting Fellaini to start with the aim being to thwart Andy Carroll but it’s going to leave us horribly exposed if he is. The only way he could effectively mark Carroll would be to play in central midfield and I think that would be a disastrous move for us.

If Dimitri Payet is given the space in midfield in front of our defence, he’ll pick us apart for fun so we need to have energy in midfield using Morgan Schneiderlin and Ander Herrera. Maybe bring Fellaini on to switch things up but definitely don’t start him, it will cause us more problems than it would solve.

Matteo Darmian

I’d love to know what has happened to Darmian over the last few months. When he started off the season he was playing extremely well and made us all think we’d solved our right-back problems yet he’s been on the downward turn for some time now.

Injuries haven’t helped Darmian but his performance against Spurs was dreadful at the weekend. It was always going to be hard for him to come in and adjust to the pace straight away as the tempo was so high but it doesn’t excuse him for playing a role in all three of Spurs’ goals.

Guillermo Varela should get the nod if Fosu-Mensah isn’t it but if the latter is, then we should see his third full start for United.

Wayne Rooney

We’re all expecting to see Rooney return to the squad tonight after two months out with an injury and it does worry me van Gaal may start him. Rooney 30, takes a good few games to re-find his form and an away trip to Upton Park is not the occasion for that at all.

Like Fellaini, Rooney could prove to be a useful substitution but it would be safer not to use him unless necessary because of the risk of coming back too soon.

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