With Carlos Tevez out of action for several weeks and the likes of Yaya Toure and Edin Dzeko currently less-than-threatening, Manchester United must have someone to worry about for the FA Cup semi-final match between themselves and Manchester City on Saturday, right? Otherwise this whole match will probably be a bit of a farce. Who will trouble Nemanja Vidic and company in the Red Devils' back line?
According to Gene Um at SB Nation's Manchester United blog the Busby Babe, that man is Spainish international David Silva. The tricky attack-minded midfielder has caused United plenty of grief already this year, and Gene is expecting Silva's movement to result in some mayhem at Wembley:
At times this season, United's defense have struggled to deal with sides that have good movement in the attacking third. Whichever side that Silva is deployed on, he'll likely have the freedom to glide around in search of space and time on the ball. This is worrisome for United because he is a fantastic dribbler, has good vision, and he has the range of passing to break down the United defense. When the Spaniard drifts to center, he may be the one that can make up for his teammate's lack of creativity in the attacking third of the pitch. It will be vital for United's defenders to track his movements and zonally defend him; this requires clear communication and organization.
It's difficult to see a fool-proof strategy for beating Silva, so United might have more success in blocking off his obvious passing opportunities. Contain whichever one of Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli Roberto Mancini fields (on recent form this is not particularly difficult), don't let Yaya Toure break through the lines and suddenly Silva becomes far less of a threat.