MUFC Team News: Carrick and Evans likely out

Can Arsenal stomach this Little Pea? - Alex Livesey

The newly-elected Champions will shuffle their pack for their Emirates visit

Sir Alex's first press conference after Manchester United were crowned kings of England (again) was typically business-like. With the season winding down, the gaffer was already looking forward to next season though.

"A lot of the younger players have been on the fringes for the last few weeks, and I desperately want them to feel their contribution has been big. Chicharito, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Nani - I think it's important to get them involved in the last few weeks."

"Giggs and Rio, the old codgers, can still carry on! Hopefully, we will have Paul Scholes fit in the next couple of weeks because he deserves to play in the last few games."

It's likely that in the Ginger Prince's case, Sir Alex wants to give him a dose of playing time to keep him hooked for just a year longer. With Anderson-who did not receive a mention-likely going out, and Darren Fletcher unavailable, Scholesy would be an invaluable option to mentor and provide back up for a younger option, conceivably Nick Powell.

The major news, however, revolved around something fans suspected in the previous game - injuries to Jonny Evans (whose name I finally learned to spell right) and Michael "Midfield Maestro Not Named Scholes" Carrick.

"Two of the players played with an injury throughout the [Villa] game," Sir Alex told MUTV. "Jonny Evans and Michael Carrick. Next week, I should have Vida and Rio back. I can put Jones into the middle of the pitch and play Vida and Rio together and we'll get the experience going to Arsenal."

That leaves us with a central pivot of Tom Cleverly and Phil Jones screening a defensive line of Rafael, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra. With the league done, however, it is possible that Chris Smalling or Alex Buttner fill in at the full back places. A run of games should do both a world of good.

Going back to the mentions of the "fringe players", it seems the Gaffer is looking to play Danny Welbeck on the wing, with Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney or Shinji Kagawa filling into the playmaker role and Chicarito playing as striker. Luis Nani could receive a run-out at right wing as well. This, in any case, is the only way all of his hints could work out. As every United fan knows, however, that is no assurance. It may seem clever to protect RvP from needless vitriol from the Arsenal fans - our No. 20 could always come on later to save the game.

I'm excited about the next few games for different reasons - I'm really looking forward to see Powell get some games, as well as Welbeck. Precious competitive game minutes will do these two a world of good (in Danny's case, some goals as well!)
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