Sunday, June 26, 2022

Three Players Who Hold The Key For Manchester United Against FC Rostov

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Anirban Sarkar
Anirban Sarkar is a former columnist of The 4th Official. A huge East Bengal fan and has travelled over 1000 miles to see his team in action.

Manchester United are set to face FC Rostov in the Europa League Round of 16 on Thursday. Jose Mourinho hasn’t included Wayne Rooney, Luke Shaw and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 20-man squad for the match. Henrikh Mkhitaryan who had been sidelined after he pulled his hamstring has been named in the squad.

United have a pretty tough schedule ahead as they will have to play three matches within a gap of nine days. The Red Devils will be banking on Zlatan Ibrahimovic who has been in excellent form having scored 26 goals for them. Also, the return of Henrikh Mkhitaryan would be a boost for Jose Mourinho.

United is facing the Russian side for the first time in their history. Rostov are in very good form and haven’t been beaten at home this season. They also defeated mighty Bayern Munich 3-2 in the Champions League which is still one of the biggest upsets of this season. Rostov have lost only once in their last seven European home games.

Eric Bailly will miss this tie as he is serving a red card suspension. This will be Paul Pogba’s 50th appearance and he has to be at his best to make this a match to remember.

These three United players need to pull up the socks to get the better of Rostov.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

If he is declared fit, Mkhitaryan should start against the Russian club. The attacking midfielder had a rough start to his Manchester United career as he was initially frozen out by the Portuguese manager. But he was back with a bang and since then has been a constant presence in the starting lineup.

The Armenian playmaker loves to play in the No.10 position just behind the striker. Mourinho has often complained that his team has a scarcity of goal scorers but Mkhitaryan could be the answer to this. The 28-year-old is a prolific goal scorer and had scored more than 40 goals for his previous club Borussia Dortmund.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on December 26, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Anthony Martial

The French teenager has started to find his form and should get the nod to start against the Russian side. Last season’s hero Martial has often struggled to get a permanent spot in the starting lineup. Mourinho has opted to start him on the left flank and with the gaffer preferring a 4-2-3-1 combination, Martial can be very dangerous as he has the knack to cut inside and shoot at goal.

Paul Pogba

The world’s costliest player hasn’t really been that effective as to the extent that he should have been. He has been very inconsistent for the Red Devils but would be eager to do something special on his 50th European appearance. He is likely to be given more freedom in the No.10 role and alongside Zlatan will surely be too hot to handle for the Russian side.

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