Solid victory over Ipswich. Pereira a boost. Schweinsteiger’s influence grows by the game. Now for Sunderland at home on Saturday.
Due to the long term loss of Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo’s short term hamstring knicknack and Paddy McNair’s injury, Van Gaal must reorganize again at the back. Every team has to cope with injuries but Phil Jones is back in contention and there are other defensive combinations available.
Darmian can play left back. So can Young.
Saturday could see
I keep Smalling and Blind together. As argued previously Blind complements Smalling and makes him more effective. Blind’s technique, defensive smarts and ability to pass the ball are a very valuable package. It’s fullback where he has to make decisions.
Sunderland are a poor team, so further up the field is this the opportunity to give Pereira a further test. Who knows maybe Van Gaal even has plans for James Wilson?
There’s a lot that can go wrong for City at Tottenham on Saturday, and a draw in the Arsenal Leicester game would also benefit United. It’s after Saturday when it gets much, much tougher. For me October defines the season.
The Champions League fixtures are must win. Twelve league points are available from away games at Arsenal, Everton and Palace and of course City at home. It’s a serious test for the squad and the club’s ambition. Emerge out of October flying and who knows what may happen.