Manchester United will look to move at the top of the table after a disappointing start to their UEFA Europa League campaign, when they host Fenerbahce this Thursday at Old Trafford.
After a positive result against Liverpool, where Mourinho found his tactics right on target in stopping Klopp’s men, who have been in a goal scoring spree this season, Mourinho would expect a comfortable win at home.
However, the match could be equally tricky as it was Fenerbahce who handed Manchester United their home defeat years back in 1996 at Old Trafford. Plus, they would be facing their former striker Robin Van Persie, who has been in a good touch this season.
Fenerbahce has played Manchester United 4 times previously, in which they have shared 2 wins each.
We take a look at the predicted lineup that Mourinho is most likely to field.
Mourinho is likely to stick with his four man back line that did outstanding defending at Anfield with two defensive midfielders up front. However, he might want to deploy attacking plans at the flank to impose a more attacking mindset this time.
He is expected to stick with Smalling and Bailly after their encouraging performances Monday night against Liverpool and Blind and Valencia might be ordered more liberty, which was missing the last time.
After a phenomenal performance of David De Gea against Liverpool, Mourinho won’t take risk with anyone else in that position as it will be a must win game for the Red Devils.
After Paul Pogba’s failure to make any kind of impact as an attacking midfielder, Mourinho should stick with Juan Mata who has the ability to unlock defensive positions. Given Rooney’s record against Fenerbahce in the past, he could be handed a cap pushing Mata at the flank this time.
Apart from that, Herrera should take his position at the defensive midfield. Martial has reportedly chance of returning to the squad in which case Mourinho would like to go with experience and bench young Rashford. Fellaini might also start pairing with Herrera if Mourinho continues to play Pogba up front.
With players returning from injury, Mourinho now has options at his central forward position. Zlatan has been more of a disappointing forward for United failing to reach at the end of the passes so efficiently pulled by Herrera. Everything depends on the return of Martial it seems. His return could open up new play-ins for United, which will open up space for Rashford and Lingard.