Manchester United are 90 minutes away from reaching the UEFA Europa League final. Thanks to their 1-0 win in the first leg at Balaidos against Celta de Vigo, The Red Devils are quite close to win their first European silverware in a very long time. However, they must not get complacent. Jose Mourinho will try to employ his Best XI available for this game at Old Trafford, where United will look to clinch a berth to Stockholm for the tournament’s final match.
It is not a secret that Manchester United have been dealing with several absences during the entire season. However, Mourinho is not going to miss any of the players that have been starting over the past few weeks.
During Wednesday’s training session that included 24 players, recently injured elements such as Phil Jones and Chris Smalling further confirmed they are available for selection. However, Ashley Young, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are out for the remainder of the season.
The Soccer News team has prepared a predicted line-up and formation Manchester United are expected to field this Wednesday.
David De Gea remains the top-choice keeper for Mourinho. However, Sergio Romero has excelled in the Europa League and will receive another chance. “Chiquito” was coming off excellent performances against Rostov and Anderlecht, but he took another step forward with his game against Celta in Balaidos last week. United could have lost the game hadn’t it been for him. There is no doubt Romero earned his spot.
In front of him, Mourinho will deploy his usual four-men line. As expected, Mourinho is not going to make too many changes considering recent results. Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian would slot on the right and left flanks, respectively. And the duo of Eric Bailly and Daley Blind will start at CB. Jones and Smalling are available as options as well. However, they are unlikely to feature given what is at stake for the team.
Mourinho is not going to change his two holding midfielders, so it is likely that we will see Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera out there in front of the defensive line. Paul Pogba will slot in front of them, although he can operate as a third CM in case United needs to play on a more defensive stance. The French’s versatility has been key for Mourinho, and he has provided a boost for United even if his numbers do not suggest an impressive season.
Moving forward, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard will to feature on the wings. However, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata could be options coming off the bench during the second half. Each player would offer something unique to the team in the final third, but Mkhitaryan and Lingard have had the bulk of minutes of late. And considering this is a very important game for the team, I don’t see Mourinho making too many changes.
Surprisingly, Manchester United have done a decent job to replace Zlatan so far. Marcus Rashford has seen the majority of minutes, but Martial and even Wayne Rooney could slot upfront. However, all signs indicate Rashford will handle the attacking responsibilities.
The talented youngster scored the only goal during the 0-1 win at Balaidos with an impressive free kick. It seems he has earned Mourinho’s trust down the stretch following a complicated start to the season.
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