With no new signings coming in at Old Trafford prior to the Stoke game (players had to be registered by noon on Monday to be eligible), United fans can know who to expect in the starting eleven on Tuesday night.
“Boring boring Man United” has been the line of choice recently – so we’ve decided to see if we can spice things up a bit.
Stoke have a few Champions League winners in their squad – but which Potters players make it into a combined eleven with Manchester United?
It’s a 4-1-4-1 formation…
GK: David de Gea
Butland is pushing Hart hard for a place in England’s starting eleven come the summer, but he’s not going to push De Gea out here; the Spaniard is easily one of the top three goalkeepers in the world.
RB: Guillermo Varela
Let’s be honest, Matteo Darmian has been really, really poor. Varela, at least at the moment, is a much more reliable shout at right-back, and Glen Johnson… well, he’s Glen Johnson.
CB: Chris Smalling
England’s best centre-back, United’s best centre-back and would easily get in the Stoke team, “Mike” is just brilliant. A no-brainer inclusion.
CB: Ryan Shawcross
As an academy player, Shawcross spent four years from 2002-2006 as a Manchester United player – but never made an appearance for the senior side. With United struggling to string together a proper back-four, Shawcross’ solid season so far gets him into this combined XI.
LB: Luke Shaw
He’s in here as this XI is based on the squads if all players are fully fit – and United’s season started going downhill when Shaw suffered a double-leg break against Club Brugge last year.
CDM: Morgan Schneiderlin
He slots in excellently as a third centre-back when the United full-backs push up and had to be in here ahead of Schweinsteiger, Carrick and Whelan, purely for his consistency in delivering classy, industrious performances.
RM: Anthony Martial
He’s as versatile as he is promising – meaning he can comfortably slot in on the right flank for this combined eleven. Mata hasn’t produced as much as United fans would have liked and Martial is definitely a threat down the flank.
CM: Ander Herrera
The little Spaniard is both tenacious in physical battles and graceful in delicate touches and passing – he has it in him to become the complete central midfielder and his hard work has warranted him a place in this eleven.
Another small Spaniard with an eye for goal, Bojan’s the dangerman for Stoke on Tuesday night and would certainly liven up United’s attack
LM: Marko Arnautovic
Power and direct play are things United are missing in large parts – and things Arnautovic provides.
ST: Wayne Rooney (c)
England’s highest scorer ever, and closing in on Sir Bobby Charlton’s Manchester United scoring record at pace, it would be absolutely inconceivable to leave this legend of the Premier League out of the combined United/Stoke eleven.