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United’s Christmas crunch time commences

Arsenal-v-Manchester-UnitedIf anyone has come down from the result last weekend then I’d recommend watching a clip of Kieran Gibbs’ face on repeat after the fullback inadvertently directed the ball into his own net on Saturday evening. United have seen victory more times at the Emirates than Olivier Giroud has seen his wife over the last 12 months, but this time it felt different.

Despite the performance this was the result United deserved and after a gradual improvement of performances against Chelsea and City that didn’t see wins materialise , victory was welcomed with open arms. Now it feels like United could be at the start of something special and the next run of fixtures sees an opportunity to storm back into contention for the top spots. This begins with Hull tomorrow afternoon.

United team news

Ok so it’s not as bad as last weekend, but it is still bad. Really pretty awful. Christopher Biggins-not wearing a shirt-riding a bike-bad. Phil Jones, Rafael, Daley Blind, Johnny Evans and now this week Luke Shaw joins the list. Once you’ve fully exhaled your sigh of disappointment lift yourself with the news that Radamel Falcao and Marcos Rojo were back in training this week and although unlikely to start could be in contention to play some role in tomorrow’s game.

Marouane Fellaini is likely to start again after what was another impressive and assured performance against Arsenal, it is yet to be seen whether this comes at the expense of Ander Herrera or whether Van Gaal will be able to keep the team balanced with both of them.

Up front the Dutch silver haired elephant in the room needs to be addressed. Robin Van Persie is still one of the best finishers in world football. After his 12 touches in last weekend’s match he is however out of form and the most sensible decision would be to relegate him to the bench, taking him out of the limelight and giving him an opportunity to come back feeling  refreshed hopefully to hit form in time for the new year. This could give youngster James Wilson a chance to start up front tomorrow with the in form Wayne Rooney, potentially allowing a successful partnership for the future.

Hull City team news

Hull only have two first team players missing out the trip to Old Trafford. Abel Hernandez will selfishly be attending the birth of his child and Gaston Ramirez is suspended.

Key men

This game will largely hinge on how well another inexperienced United back four will fair against the opposition. The key men will likely be attackers however, in particular United’s current in form captain. Wayne Rooney looks to be hitting the form of his life and it could not have come at a better time. Rooney is leading his men by example and hopefully he will provide both goals and inspiration for James Wilson as we potentially see a star born this weekend.

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William Dawson

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