Manchester United head to Wembley later today to face off against Southampton in the EFL Cup Final
Jose Mourinho’s side are coming off the back off a convincing victory in the UEFA Europa League, where they progressed with a 4-0 aggregate against French side AS Saint-Etienne, but there were some negatives from the game.
Eric Bailly was sent off – but is available tonight – while Michael Carrick and Henrikh Mkhitaryan both picked up injuries. Speaking before tonight’s fixture, Mourinho was pleased that Carrick would be available for the fixture, but confirmed that Mkhitaryan would not be a part of the squad.
“Michael [Carrick] is available,” he said, according to the club’s official website. “Clever, experienced. He left the pitch [against Saint-Etienne] in the right moment so Michael is available. Mkhitaryan is out and Jones, let’s see and decide tomorrow.
“Wayne’s fine, he’s training with the team. He was not selected for Saint-Etienne because he was not ready to play but he was ready to have one more important training session and no doubts, no doubts, he is involved in the game.”
Ander Herrera also makes a return to the side after being suspended for the Red Devils’ midweek fixture against Blackburn Rovers, while Phil Jones has also been included in the squad after a late test.
Rooney was rumoured to be leaving for China by the end of next week but eventually made a public statement confirming he would stay at the club until the end of the season, and will now have the chance to lift another trophy as Manchester United’s captain.
Mourinho is expected to name the strongest side available to him, however there has been one surprising piece of news doing the rounds this morning which is that Juan Mata was not seen traveling with his teammates after the death of his grandfather but is expected to join the side later today.
Juan Mata has not traveled to London today as it was the funeral of his grandfather. He is expected to join the squad tomorrow.
— ㅤ (@TheUtdReview) February 25, 2017
Mourinho will likely stick with the team that beat AS Saint-Etienne in the final minus Henrikh Mkhitaryan, although there is a huge chance Wayne Rooney could be handed a start or at least a significant portion of the match as this might be his last chance at winning a trophy with the Red Devils.
Provisional Manchester United squad: David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Kieran O’Hara, Axel Tuanzebe, Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Antonio ValenciaDaley Blind, Phil Jones, Michael Carrick, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Ashley Young, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Marcus Rashford, Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic