Manchester United will be hoping to turn around their European campaign when they host Feyenoord in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, in a Group A battle they must win if they wish to progress to the knockout stages.
Akin to Leicester City, United have also floundered in the Premier league this season following huge expectations from them. And Mourinho is well aware of the criticism and consequences, he will be facing if United fails to qualify for the Europa League knockout stages.
After a frustrating draw in their last game against Arsenal, where the Red Devils conceded an 89thminute equaliser, Mourinho will hope to return to winning ways against the Dutch giants. The visitors from Rotterdam, on the other hand, will very much have things in the grip for the last group game if they even manage to squeeze out a draw at Old Trafford.
United will be without defenders Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly and Marouane Fellaini still remains doubtful. With Jose Mourinho assuring that Henrik Mkhitaryan will be involved in the midweek’s match, the Armenian captain will finally have the chance to impress his manager against the Eredivisie leaders. Wayne Rooney is also expected to start the match after coming on late against Arsenal. We might also see Memphis Depay, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial getting involved in the match.
Feyenoord experienced a surprise defeat at the weekend against Go Ahead Eagles and is expected not to repeat similar performance against United. They have their own defensive problem as goalkeepers Warner Hahn and Kenneth Vermeer are out with a long-term injury. Centre-backs Sven van Beek and Terence Kongolo are also out injured. To further add to it, yet another centre-back Eric Botteghin will serve a card suspension against United.
Manchester United- De Gea; Darmian, Blind, Jones, Valencia; Carrick; Herrera, Pogba; Martial, Ibrahimović, Mata
Feyenoord- Jones; Nelom, Van der Heijden, Dammers, Karsdorp; El Ahmadi, Vilhena; Elia, Kuyt, Toornstra; Jorgensen
Manchester United- Zlatan Ibrahimović was paused on his return to goal-scoring form with the international break and yellow card suspension falling one after the other. He is expected to take his position up front. Juan Mata was absolutely phenomenal against Arsenal and Mourinho is expected to start with the Spaniard. He’ll be key to United’s hopes on the night.
Feyenoord- The Dutch leaders are enjoying a fantastic display from their forwards. Nicolai Jorgensen has been in iron-hot form scoring 8 goals and providing 5 assists in 13 appearances. 36-year-old Dirk Kuyt doesn’t seem to have aged another year since his prime days at Liverpool. He has scored 5 goals and has 3 assists in 13 appearances. Jens Toornstra is turning out to be yet another deadly winger. He has 4 goals and 6 assists in the same number of appearances.
Manchester United @ 1.36
Draw @ 3.20
Feyenoord @ 1.18
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