Manchester United travel to Wembley on Saturday knowing that they can end a disappointing campaign on a high note with victory over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final. With that in mind, we’ve looked at who shouldn’t start against Alan Pardew’s side.
There were high hopes for Rojo following a promising debut season (disrupted by injury) but his performances have suffered a sharp decline in recent months.
He has been at fault far too often and his errors have often led to conceded goals. Rojo’s positioning is also off and opponents always seem to get the better of him. Essentially, he isn’t doing anything that is required of a top defender, which is surprising given his experience. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, although young, has looked far more solid recently and he may be the better option for Louis van Gaal at left-back.
Schneiderlin’s last appearance for United was a disappointing 45 minute spell against West Ham United, where he was overrun in midfield. Van Gaal rightly hauled him off at half-time and Michael Carrick has looked far more composed in the middle of the park since.
The problem with Schneiderlin is his lack of consistency. When on form, he is among the best midfielders in the Premier League, with his tackling and intelligence on the pitch second to none. But those purple patches have not come often enough and Carrick may well get the nod instead.
Mata is an enigma of a player. Technically, he is superb. His goals and assists record is excellent. So why not start him?
Unfortunately, the Spaniard doesn’t seem to have that added extra needed if you are to be a success at United. His lack of pace is glaring, he struggles when tracking back and United have no width when he is on the pitch. Jesse Lingard, too, has his deficiencies but his agility and pace on a big Wembley pitch may come in handier for United.