Inter Milan vs. Manchester United: How Red Devils Will Line Up in the ICC

Paul Ansorge@@utdrantcastFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2014

Jul 22, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera, head coach Louis Van Gaal and defender Luke Shaw talk to the media during a press conference a day before the game against the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Inter Milan vs. Manchester United offers the Red Devils a chance to extend their lead in Group A of the International Champions Cup.

Although United beat AS Roma 3-2, Louis van Gaal was not pleased with their performance.

With quotes such as "I think we don't play a good match" and "in the second half we forgot to keep the ball," per Sky Sports, it is clear that Van Gaal's exacting standards were not met.

He will be looking for better against Inter Milan.

Against LA Galaxy, Van Gaal put out what looked to be his strongest possible XI. The Roma game saw more experimentation. Reserve-team players were mixed into the selection. In both games, half time saw the Dutchman make wholesale changes.

It seems reasonable to assume that this will again be the pattern in this game. It is difficult to guess which players will be given a starting berth, though it is much easier to guess at what system will be implemented, given that Van Gaal said that he intends to stick with the 3-4-1-2 formation he has played so far (h/t The Mirror).

In the four halves of football played so far on this tour, Van Gaal has used a different keeper in each. If the pattern continues, David de Gea will start the game, with Anders Lindegaard replacing him at half time.

PASADENA, CA - JULY 23:  Jonny Evans #6 of Manchester United fights for the ball with Robbie Keane #7 of the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Rose Bowl on July 23, 2014 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Before the Roma game I speculated that Van Gaal would want to give Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans as many minutes together as a back three as possible. Instead, Tyler Blackett played the full 90 minutes, and the three presumed first-choice centre-backs did not line up together.

Perhaps this game will see them do so again, but seeing Michael Keane given a starting place would not surprise.

With Rafael da Silva injured and having returned to England, per Richard Tanner of the Daily Star, Van Gaal does not have a natural right-back in the squad.

Antonio Valencia seems likely to get the nod. Ashley Young had a fine half when he played up-front against LA Galaxy, but his run out at right wing-back against Roma was less impressive. The position did not seem a natural fit for him.

Reece James was rewarded for his brace against Galaxy with a starting place against Roma, with Luke Shaw replacing him for the second half. Both players will probably get 45 minutes of football again, and it seems a coin flip as to who will start.

In the centre of midfield, Tom Cleverley may be rested, having captained the side in Denver and playing more minutes than anyone other than Blackett. Darren Fletcher and Ander Herrera may repeat the partnership that was so effective against LA.

Ahead of them, Juan Mata has started both games so far. If Van Gaal does not continue that run, then perhaps Shinji Kagawa could get a look in. Kagawa has played both second halves on United's tour of the USA so far in a deeper midfield role, and Van Gaal may be interested to see what he can do at No. 10.

PASADENA, CA - JULY 23:  Wayne Rooney #10 (C) of Manchester United celebrates with Ander Herrera #21 and Danny Welbeck #19 after making a penalty kick as Juninho #19 of the Los Angeles Galaxy reacts in the first half at the Rose Bowl on July 23, 2014 in P
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Up front, Wayne Rooney has been in fine goalscoring form, but perhaps Van Gaal will give Javier Hernandez a chance in the furthest forward role this time around. Up against Nemanja Vidic, Hernandez's pace could do some real damage.

Danny Welbeck's role is crucial to Van Gaal's system. His energy and dynamism links attack and midfield well. The one-two between Herrera and Welbeck that led to United's penalty against Roma was an example of such link-up play.

For now, this is my guess at a starting XI. Please feel free to leave yours in the comments below.

Manchester United - Football tactics and formations

Van Gaal will want United to maintain winning way. Fitness is usually what is most important in pre-season. This time around, though, Van Gaal's implementation of a new system means that some important learning can take place during these games. Players will be very keen to impress the new boss.

Here is to another United win!


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