Van Gaal reveals his defensive line-up for Man United's league opener against Tottenham

It appears the United boss has settled on his strongest suit.

Luke Shaw has impressed his manager during the tour of America.
Luke Shaw has impressed his manager during the tour of America.
Image: AJ Mast

LUKE SHAW, MATTEO Darmian and Daley Blind will all start in defence for Manchester United against Tottenham on the Premier League’s opening day, Louis van Gaal has confirmed.

Van Gaal selected all three men in a back four along with Phil Jones from the start of United’s pre-season clashes against Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, though on each occasion the Dutchman changed his entire team before the final whistle.

Last year an injury crisis forced Van Gaal to select youngster Tyler Blackett alongside Jones and Chris Smalling in an unfamiliar three-man defence against Swansea City while Jesse Lingard started on the wing, but the United boss is confident he has a wider array of options this time around.

“I have to start with the formation and when the formation is doing well, I let them pay in that formation,” Van Gaal told reporters.

“I think I shall play [Luke] Shaw with [Matteo] Darmian, and with Daley Blind. The right central position I have to consider. I am very pleased with the performance of Matteo Darmian, and you can see he can play on the right and left.

“Also, a benefit of this year’s tour is that we don’t have any injuries. Last year I was forced to use, for example, Tyler Blackett and Jesse Lingard in the first Premier League match.

“Now, I have a wider selection and I can use everybody who I think I have to use. There is more competition now and there is more balance in the selection. I have a lot of confidence to start the competition.”

The Red Devils lost to PSG last night but won all their other pre-season outings and will now return to England to finalise preparations for the new season.

Man United begin their Premier League campaign at home to Tottenham on Saturday 8 August at 12.45pm.

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