Manchester United fans have been waiting with baited breath to see Louis Van Gaal make his competitive managerial debut for the Red Devils. The wait is finally over as United take on Swansea at Old Trafford. United's performance on match day should answer a lot burning questions about their new manager's influence on the club. Here are five questions that will be answered on Saturday.
What Will The Defence Look Like?
The 3-4-1-2 formation LVG has brought to Old Trafford means they will require three central defenders. The question remains, who will be the starting defenders. The summer exits of Nemaja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand has left United short of options at the back. This coupled with the fact Jonny Evans has picked up a knock and may not feature has left people asking who exactly would partner Phil Jones and Chris Smalling at the back in the Northern Irishman's absence.
Who Will Partner Herrera?
United's most expensive summer signing has pretty much nailed down his spot in the first team. However, there is still uncertainty over who will partner him in midfield. Darren Fletcher, Tom Cleverly and Marouane Fellaini are all viable options. While Fellaini didn't get much game time in their pre-season friendlies, he threw a spanner in the works by making an impressive cameo against Valencia. The Belgian produced the goods by scoring the game's winner. Both Fletcher and Cleverly got more match practice with the United squad over the summer break which gives them a slight advantage in terms of selection.
Will Rooney Shine As Captain?
After club captain Vidic made the switch to Inter Milan, Rooney was the obvious choice to be his successor. However, Rooney is an unknown entity as a club captain. Will he crumble under the pressure or will he inspire United to reclaim their former glory? The English striker has lifted the team in the past when times were tough. He bagged 19 goals in the league last season while Utd were undergoing what some people may refer to as a crisis. All the evidence suggests he is likely to thrive under the pressure of the captaincy but you can never be too sure.
Have United Done Enough In The Transfer Market?
Herrera and Luke Shaw were good signings, albeit expensive ones. Do United have adequate replacements in their squad for Ferdinand, Giggs, Vidic, Evra and Buttner, who all left Old Trafford this summer? There is still time left in the current window which means that United's performance will give LVG a good idea on what business still needs to be done in order to fill any gaps in his squad.
Can United Be Title Contenders Again?
After the abysmal disaster last season that saw them miss out on Europe, can United make a swift recovery and propel themselves right back into contender status? He will be looking to emulate the success of Old Trafford stalwart Alex Ferguson, who's retirement marked the end of an incredible era for the Red Devils. LVG can promote himself to legendary status if he can restore the reputation of the club.
You can watch Manchester United's 2014-15 Premier League opener against Swansea live on BT Sport. Coverage begins at 12pm tomorrow.
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