With Manchester City's 1-3 defeat by Southampton today, Manchester United have an opportunity to go 12 points clear in the title race with 12 matches to go if they are able to defeat Everton tomorrow. However, United do have a massive European two-legged tie with Real Madrid that starts on Wednesday at the Bernabeu. Sir Alex Ferguson was always going to pick his side tomorrow with the trip in Spain in mind. Some players, though -- perhaps the likes of Robin van Persie, Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney, Patrice Evra, David de Gea -- were all likely to play against both Everton and Madrid while the rest of the squad seemed more probable for rotation.
With this context in mind, should Fergie field a weakened side tomorrow against Everton and fully rest the players tomorrow he has in mind for Madrid? Or should he put a hybrid team out there where the likes of RvP, Rooney, Carrick, etc. feature but other possible starters against Madrid are rested. Or should Fergie field a full-strength side against the Toffees and try to put a foot on City's throat? Blowing an 8-point lead last season with 6 fixtures to go has a way of humbling you.