Manchester United - manutd.com

It is hardly a ‘problem’ when Sir Alex Ferguson chooses his starting 11, as any other manager would love to have his options available, but it is going to be extremely interesting to see the shape of Manchester United over the next few games. With Rafael, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic on the sidelines – Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans have been given the chance to shine in defence, and how they have taken to it.

But what happens when the senior defenders return to fitness – do the future stars get relegated to the bench in favour of the more established players in the squad. Another fascinating situation is the return of Antonio Valencia to the squad. Ashley Young and Nani have both been magnificent occupying the flanks so far but with Ferguson rating the Ecuadorian as a key player, who will miss out? Michael Carrick has already been relegated to the bench in favour of Tom Cleverley and with Darren Fletcher returning, it remains to be seen who starts in central midfield.

United also currently have seven first-team strikers at the club. Dimitar Berbatov, the club’s leading scorer last season, has started the season on the bench with the likes of Federico Macheda and Mame Diouf not even making the squad. Javier Hernandez and Michael Owen are both returning, but with Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney starting the season in magnificent form – it will be an interesting selection process in the next few games as United chase title number 20.

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