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Defensive dilemma and last chance saloon

Liverpool-v-Manchester-United (2)Right, after Van Gaal’s press conference it is looking more desperate than Piers Morgan’s Tinder profile. And although recent news today has revealed United’s backline to be more decimated than the homes of Iraqis after 2003, there absolutely is reason for hope this weekend.

Tomorrow’s trip to Stamford Bridge has had United fans flip flopping more than Nick Clegg on whether to let David Cameron use his mouth or his backside. But United fans have plenty of reasons to be hopeful for this weekend’s trip to London.

The level United have been playing at recently is better than can be remembered for years. To be frank they have demolished Spurs, Liverpool, Villa and most emphatically City over the last month.

Though consistency in personnel has been fundamental in the success of recent weeks, one might argue it is belief that has really kept the team in top gear.

Even with the long list of injuries for this weekend, the belief should remain strong within key players, who are pivotel if United want to get a result tomorrow.

A pocket sized Spaniard may be the most important weapon in United’s armoury. Out to prove a point.

United team news

Where do we begin? With the amount of defensive injuries this week United could well be playing Fred the Red and Albert the kit man at the back.

Marcos Rojo, Michael Carrick, Daly Blind and of course the glass ornament that is Phil Jones all miss out tomorrow through injury.

Johnny Evans is still suspended so Van Gaal revealed he is likely to play a makeshift back four with Wayne Rooney in holding midfield. This could mean another call up for Paddy McNair.

Chelsea team news

Fortunately Chelsea have their own injury problems. Diego Costa still remains absent and Loic Remy is still a doubt, meaning he will most likely start on the bench.

Chelsea looked blunt last weekend against QPR until they were gifted a goal by Rob Green, so injury to their star Western Villain could see them struggle in front of goal.

Key men

How the mighty have fallen. It is depressing to think that relying on Radamel Falcao is now a gamble rather than a guarantee.

His time at Manchester United has had echoes of the once great Diego Forlan, who similarly struggled to adapt to the Premier League.

However the Uruguayan forward popped up with some memorable goals against a small club on Merseyside and with Rooney in midfield tomorrow, many will hope Falcao can do the same against Chelsea.

A surprise this season may have been the progression of Chris Smalling. Thought to be dead and buried at the beginning of the season, the English centre back has come on leaps and bounds in recent weeks, absolutely dominating everything in the air against City.

With so many injuries to the defence, it will be important for Smalling to step up, lead from the back and hold Chelsea’s attack at bay.

Predicted starting XI



William Dawson