The defeat against the cross-town rivals, Manchester City, might serve as a backdrop to Mourinho’s men, but they need to keep their heads high as the new challenge in form of the Europa League is awaiting in 2 days’ time. The red half of Manchester started their new Premier League campaign on a great note by winning the opening three fixtures but failed to replicate the same for against the rivals.
Citizens completely dominated the game in every aspect and that frustrated almost every United spectators. The defence, which was supposed to be the weapon for the side was at its fault and the attack looked completely dull as well. The players came back to life in the second half, but that was too little too late for the Old Trafford crowd.
That being said, the first game of the new competition is on the verge and the players are now preparing for the showdown. Thanks to a fifth place finish in the previous campaign, the Reds will be challenging for the Europa League title and the first stop for the pursuit is Netherlands, where they will be facing Feyenoord.
So here is how Jose Mourinho could line his team up for the Europa League showdown:
Goalkeeper: De Gea-
The former Atletico Madrid man was kept busy in the Derby by the visitors and was beaten twice. It could have been more, but thanks to the frame of the post, the number remained intact. Well, we cannot really blame him alone for the goals they conceded, but this could well be a lesson for the 25-year-old for the next fixture.
Defence: Darmian; Bailly; Smalling; Rojo-
The Ecuadorian skipper, Antonio Valencia, was totally exposed by Nolito in the Derby, but the player eventually gained the momentum and gave a fine display until the end. But the manager has decided not to bring him to Feyenoord, surprisingly. So that mean the manager might give the Italian defender Matteo Darmian his first start of the new season.
We might see a change in the personal in the centre back pairing. The Manchester United Players’ Player of the Year hasn’t started a competitive game for the new manager till now, and maybe this is the time he will step onto the field. His partner will most probably be the new arrival, Eric Bailly, who has been a joy to watch thus far.
The left side will surely be replaced as Luke Shaw picked up a slight hamstring injury in the Manchester derby and is unlikely to be risked. Call it fate or what, but the 21-year-old suffered his horrific double break of his right leg on 15th of September last year and will miss the fixture on its anniversary. With that being said, the out of favour Argentine international is likely to take his place in the lineup.
Holding Pair: Herrera; Pogba-
Jose Mourinho made no change in the central midfield against the Citizen and that costs him the points. Both Fellaini and Pogba failed miserably to put an impact, hence, the manager might look to shuffle the area and Ander Herrera, who sparked a new life for United in the second half could mark his return to the starting lineup against the Dutch.
While, on the other hand, the former Juventus midfielder, Paul Pogba, will be the attacking player in the central duo. The 23-year-old hasn’t had an impact he would have wished for so far, but this could well be the stage for him to assert his authority.
Attacking trio: Martial; Mata; Rashford-
With the players like Mkhitaryan and Lingard failing poorly, the manager could well return to his old chap. The former Chelsea man, Juan Mata, has been a great figure for the side since the new campaign has kicked off and he might make his way up in the lineup to replace the skipper Wayne Rooney, who has been omitted from the squad that will travel to Feyenoord.
Furthermore, the manager might use the versatile Frenchman Anthony Martial on the opposite flank this time around. The little Frenchman was dropped off from the starting lineup in the game against City, but he might mark his return in the fixture.
When United were having a miserable time against the Citizen, Rashford brought the life back into the veins and that impressed the manager like anything and he then went on to say:
“For me the next big game is against Feyenoord and the next game [Rashford] is going to play. That is the only thing I can say,” Mourinho said
Striker: Zlatan Ibrahimovic-
The 34-year-old did score the goal for the Reds, but he was ineffective for the rest of the game. He tried his old school techniques, but missed the target by miles, on numerous occasions. But that surely isn’t him. The big Swede will unarguably be the best man for United in the season and will play a great role in the European fixtures.