Louis Van Gaal must solve defensive conundrum at Chelsea

By: |
London | Published: April 18, 2015 10:27:04 PM

If Manchester United F.C. are to claim a seventh successive Premier League victory and condemn leaders Chelsea to a first home league defeat of the season their manager Louis van Gaal...

If Manchester United F.C. are to claim a seventh successive Premier League victory and condemn leaders Chelsea to a first home league defeat of the season their manager Louis van Gaal must solve another complex injury puzzle.

Third-placed United will arrive at Stamford Bridge on Saturday on a run of six league victories but last weekend’s 4-2 derby demolition of champions Manchester City came at a cost.

Midfielder Michael Carrick has a calf problem, Daley Blind sustained an ankle injury in a hefty challenge from City captain Vincent Kompany and defenders Phil Jones and Marcus Rojo also picked up knocks.

“It is the worst scenario,” Van Gaal told a news conference on Friday.

“Marcos and Phil can both play left central defender and Jonny Evans is also suspended so I do not have many choices.

“Daley Blind and Michael Carrick could play as a holding midfield player and I do not have another option. It is a puzzle.”

Van Gaal, who struggled with a lengthy injury list at the start of the season, may deploy captain Wayne Rooney in midfield alongside former Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata.

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea have a seven-point lead and a game in hand at the top but the west Londoners have looked less than convincing in recent weeks and laboured to a 1-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers last weekend.

United would move above second-placed Arsenal, who play Reading in an FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, and within five points of leaders Chelsea with victory at Stamford Bridge.

Despite their recent hot streak, however, Van Gaal believes winning the title is out of United’s reach.

“It is still possible,” Van Gaal said. “But it is not logical. It is more ‘when’ and ‘if’. I don’t believe in ‘when’ and ‘if’. I believe in facts.

“We can lay pressure on Chelsea’s shoulders and then you never know. I think Chelsea is satisfied with a draw. Of course, they want to beat Manchester United and we want to beat them.”

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Switch to Hindi Edition