Jose Mourinho is likely to make a horde of changes when his Manchester United side take on Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup fifth round
Manchester United will face off against fellow Premier League side Huddersfield Town in the fifth round of the FA Cup, at the John Smith Stadium on Saturday.
The Red Devils come into the game on the back of a disappointing 1-0 defeat at the hands of Newcastle United in the Premier League last weekend and manager Jose Mourinho will be hoping to get his side back on track, with a win over the Terriers, who will be the first top-flight opponent his side will be facing in the competition, after having defeated Derby County and Yeovil Town in the previous rounds.
Ahead of the game, the gaffer, speaking to the club’s official website, confirmed that defender Eric Bailly had returned to training after having undergone an ankle surgery, but also confirmed that the team will be without the services of Zlatan Ibrahimović, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and Marcus Rashford for the trip to Huddersfield.
With the crucial UEFA Champions League round-of-16 tie against Sevilla lined up after Saturday’s game, Mourinho will look to protect some of his important players but will also be vary of not underestimating the Terriers, who have already defeated his side once this term.
In goal, Sergio Romero will once again come into the playing XI, as he has done for the cup competitions throughout the season. Regular full-back options Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young are both likely to be given a rest, with Matteo Darmian and Luke Shaw replacing them respectively.
In the heart of the defence, the sparingly-used summer signing Victor Lindelof is likely to partner Argentine Marcos Rojo, despite the return to full fitness of Eric Bailly. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling will make way.
Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic will probably be given the day off keeping the Sevilla game in mind, meaning club captain Michael Carrick will once again start as the deepest midfielder, while youngster Scott McTominay is also in for a starting berth, in the injury-enforced absence of Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini.
Much has been made of Paul Pogba’s recent form and his relationship with the manager, but Mourinho dismissed all the speculations in his pre-match conference and hinted that the Frenchman could be in line to start on Saturday, completing the midfield trio for the Red Devils.
In attack, Juan Mata should be reinstated to the starting XI for the tie on the right-flank, in place of Anthony Martial, while Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez are likely to keep their spots through the middle and on the left, respectively. Having struggled to find the back of the net against Newcastle last time out, the onus will be on the attackers to get United past the finish line at the John Smith Stadium on Saturday.