Manchester United face a trip to Eindhoven tonight agaist Dutch champions PSV. United’s return to the Champions League is eagerly anticipated after missing out last season, but Van Gaal’s men will be confident they can get their campaign up and running with a win.
United will be without striker Wayne Rooney, who has been left out of the squad for the game due to a hamstring injury. Rooney did not play in Saturday’s 3-1 win against Liverpool and Van Gaal confirmed he would not be risked against PSV.
James Wilson was largely touted for a loan move before Rooney’s injury, but could now be set to make his Champions League debut. He faces competition with new man Anthony Martial.
Andreas Pereira is in the squad, the Brazilian will probably feature from the bench and could be set to appear against his former club.
Van Gaal has had is say on United’s Champions League chances, after recently admitting that his side are challengers:
“That’s also a challenge for us now,” said Van Gaal.
“I think the Champions League is a higher podium than the Premier League but maybe it’s not like that.”
Memphis is likely to start against his former club, and PSV manager Phillip Cocu has given his former star man praise, saying the 21-year-old is a quick learner and will ‘bring goals’.
Cocu said: “It’s normal you need some time to grow, you need a lot of games. Physically he’s very strong and he’s a quick learner also. And I’m sure when he gets some time he’ll get it very fast. He will bring goals.”
“He’s a very vertical player who always likes to play towards the goal. Not only will he score goals, he has good vision.”
“He will have some ups and downs. I’m sure when he’s been playing a few months, I’m convinced he’ll get better and better.”
[Quotes via BBC Sport]
Here’s how we think United will lineup vs PSV
Darmian – Smalling – Blind – Shaw
Schneiderlin – Schweinsteiger
Mata – Herrera – Depay