Sir Alex Ferguson and Martin O’Neil have each switched between 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 this season, although the Manchester United manager is likely to field two strikers on Sunday. The big question surrounds in-form Wayne Rooney. Although the scouser needs a break sooner rather than later it could come a week from today.
Ferguson must also choose between Ben Foster, Edwin van der Sar and Tomasz Kuszack in goal. While Foster played against West Ham United in midweek experience may win the day tomorrow.
The Scot will choose from Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick and Darron Gibson in central midfield and two of Antonio Valencia, Park Ji-Sung and Gabriel Obertan in wide areas.
O’Neil, seeking his first trophy as Villa manager, welcomes Stilian Petrov back into the fold after injury and will choose between the perennially injured John Carew and wayward Emile Heskey in attack. The Norther Irishman’s other major decision revolves around the right-back position, with Carlos Cuellar edging out Luke Young in recent weeks.
Each team will play with significant amounts of width, although United’s attacking full-backs Patrice Evra and Rafael da Silva will offer greater attacking options. Perhaps the key battle, however, is Darren Fletcher versus Villa’s in-form James Milner in midfield.