Manchester United shift their focus onto the Europa League after a damning defeat against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Jose Mourinho’s side had until the weekend enjoyed a perfect start to the new campaign. Winning the Community Shield and all 3 of their opening matches in the process. Paul Pogba was looking unstoppable in midfield with Zlatan Ibrahimović scoring for fun. But the high-flying team was about to be pulled back to ground as their arch rivals gave them a reality check especially in the first half of the derby. Now they will have to regroup and start their European campaign, albeit the 2nd tier of it.
Although Mourinho had previously emphasised his disdain for the Europa League, the results in the last match considerably increases the importance of the match against Feyenoord. The Red Devils can ill afford to take the fixture lightly as a negative result would suck all the momentum out of the enterprising start they have had till now.
The game on Thursday provides an opportunity for the squad members to show they have the required criteria to challenge for a first-team place. The players who had looked undroppable, look vulnerable to an extent now and this will be the best opportunity for the likes of Smalling, Herrera and Rojo to keep themselves in and around the manager’s field of thought.
HERE IS THE MANCHESTER UNITED PREDICTED LINE-UP AGAINST FEYENOORD (4-2-3-1)
Romero looks in line to feature in goal with De Gea in line for a rest with the match against Watford on Sunday. Darmian might get a chance to showcase his abilities to the manager after being denied any minutes thus far. Smalling is likely to earn a recall and if Mourinho opts for a new look backline, then Phil Jones will get his first game. Luke Shaw will miss out with a minor injury and is set to be replaced by Marcos Rojo.
Paul Pogba might feature off the bench with a host of options available to the United manager. Schneiderlin, Carrick and Herrera will all be eager to start with Herrera looking good to feature having played well in the 2nd half in the derby. Juan Mata might feature in the No.10 role then with Rooney earning a well-deserved rest.
Anthony Martial played just 9 minutes and might get a recall on the flank although Memphis Depay will be pushing for a start himself. Ashley Young is another contender then, with Marcus Rashford almost sure to lead the line.
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