United Should Field a Weakened XI Against Newcastle
Nobody anticipated it, nobody expected it, nobody could believe it. After an utterly horrible run of results at home, Manchester United managed to avoid defeat against Bayern Munich on Tuesday and may have even given themselves hope of going through to the next round on Wednesday at the Allianz Arena.
It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t particularly admirable but the performance was gritty and physical if nothing else. As such, the team is going to need to pull on all their reserves if they are to stand a chance in the away leg when a confident home support are likely to give Bayern a 12th man. Realistically, it means the likes of Rio and Vidic will need a week to recover from the knocks picked up on Tuesday and Welbeck and Rooney will be trying to refill their energiser batteries ready for another tireless counter attacking and pressing display.
There is therefore good reason for David Moyes to talk the Newcastle game less seriously than expected as the Champions League is frankly the only thing every United fan cares about at the moment. The Premier League has been written off, a spectacular failure on the Red Devil’s part. Fans are indifferent towards qualifying for the Europa League, especially when it could hamper our Top Four hopes next year, and wouldn’t be too concerned by another defeat at St James’ Park if the XI at least showed some promise for the future. At the moment, United are favourites to win against Newcastle with Sports Betting Dime and Moyes should use the squad’s superiority to be savvy with his team selection.
Key players should be rested if possible in order to maximise the likelihood of success in Germany. Yes, the best teams win game after game playing broadly the same XI but seeing as United are not monopolising possession and wearing teams down but being worn down themselves, the ‘best teams’ exception does not apply.
Ideally, Moyes would take this an opportunity to blood youngsters ready for the new season but it only stands to highlight how weak the squad is right now. There is hardly anyone around Carrington who is ready and able to bring some fresh blood into the team at the weekend.
The likes of Anderson, Bebe, Zaha, Lingard, Powell, Macheda, Henriquez and the Keane twins are all on the loan getting much needed game time and experience but it has left Moyes to work with the bare bones once injuries are taken into account.
Thus, if he wants to give some players the weekend off, Moyes may have to trust some talented youngsters like Varela, Pearson and Wilson. Regardless of how unlikely it is that he will choose to do this, giving them a chance alongside the likes of Buttner, Cleverley, Nani, Hernandez and cup tied Mata would reinforce the idea that United are not simply a buying club who will splash the cash this summer to cure their ills. United have and should always be a team who are proud to bring through young players, creating stars rather than buying them.
My XI: De Gea, Varela, Smalling, Evans, Buttner, Nani, Cleverley, Fletcher, Young, Mata, Hernandez
Subs: Amos, Evra, Carrick, Pearson, Pereira, Januzaj, Wilson
How do you think United should line up against Newcastle?