Manchester United play Barcelona in the third friendly of pre-season tomorrow.
The last time we played them in a friendly, we won 2-1, with Nani and Owen getting the goals. That was also in the US.
Here is how ManUtd.com are reporting Louis van Gaal’s thoughts of team selection.
During his pre-match press conference the United manager revealed the team that starts against Barca could be selected to face Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on the opening day of the Barclay Premier League season on 8 August.
Asked if he will play two different line-ups on Saturday, just like he did in the previous victories against Club America and San Jose Earthquakes, van Gaal admitted: “I cannot do that because, for example, Schweinsteiger cannot play because he had a little injury. So maybe I have Schweinsteiger in my head in the line-up but I cannot do that, but I will play the line-up I think could play against Tottenham.
“We play the first 60 minutes so I have to make a selection already between players, if you play 60 minutes or 30. Our building-up programme was 45 so now you can see which direction I think.”
Quizzed on De Gea’s fitness and the chances of him starting the Premier League opener against Spurs, the boss told reporters: “When a player is injured, it is the same thing what happens in the season. Then you have to wait and you have seen it because in England it is more usual players are coming in after injuries, but I give them time to recover and build up their fitness.”
Angel Di Maria, Marcos Rojo and Javier Hernandez will all join the touring squad on Saturday, having enjoyed an extended break following their involvement in the Copa America and Gold Cup. On Di Maria, van Gaal says it is too soon for him to play against Barca.
“He cannot play in the game because we have to build him up,” the boss said. “When you come out of your holidays you cannot play a game immediately so that is out of the question.”
With that in mind, and his notorious nature for selecting players with fitness and match rhythm, we believe that although David De Gea will start, Matteo Darmian will also keep his place, despite the manager saying Antonio Valencia will start as the Reds’ first choice right back.
As senior centre halves, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones should start at centre half with Luke Shaw – who has impressed with his attitude to his conditioning at left back.
With Bastian Schweinsteiger sidelined, midfield essentially picks itself from the available players, while the front three has Memphis in front of Ashley Young only on preference of this writer. Young may well get in there on seniority and Daley Blind similarly could play at left back. If you had to ask us to pick a side we wanted to face Spurs from the selection available on tour, then this would be our pick – and we expect it to be Louis van Gaal’s tonight too.