Jose Mourinho will recall most of his star players as Manchester United prepare to take on Sevilla in Europe
Manchester United will return to European action on Wednesday, with a trip to Sevilla for the first-leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 encounter.
Coming on the back of a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup fifth round, the Red Devils will be looking to carry the momentum into Wednesday night’s encounter and go into the return leg at the Old Trafford with an advantage.
Manager Jose Mourinho confirmed in his pre-match press conference that a number of his star players who missed the trip to Huddersfield over the weekend, will be returning to the side. Antonio Valencia, Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera, who were all out with injuries against the Terriers trained on Tuesday and will be involved in the game.
“When a player is in that competitive situation, it’s because the players are normally ready and without problems, so you could see in that training some people that didn’t play against Huddersfield with problems – like Pogba, Valencia, Rashford and Herrera.”
But, the Red Devils will be without the services of Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Marouane Fellaini for the tie. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was also seen training ahead of the game, but is unlikely to be involved as well.
David De Gea, who had been rested for the FA Cup clash will return in goal, replacing Argentine shot-stopper Sergio Romero. The fit-again Valencia will assume duties at right-back, with Ashley Young shifting back to the left-side of the back four, meaning Luke Shaw is likely to drop out of the starting XI. Eric Bailly, who had a minute-long cameo against Huddersfield, could start his first game since November last year, partnering up with Chris Smalling in the absence of Jones.
Mourinho is likely to go in with a three-pronged midfield for the Sevilla game, with Nemanja Matic slotting in as the enforcer, flanked by Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba who will be tasked with providing the attacking impetus going forward from the centre of the park.
Alexis Sanchez hasn’t been able to hit the ground running for United since his January move for Arsenal, but has shown glimpses of his brilliance. And the manager will be hoping that Wednesday will be the day when the Chilean truly shines for his new side, starting on the left of the attacking trident.
On the right-side, there is a change likely, with Anthony Martial expected to come in for Juan Mata, who had a fairly impressive game against Huddersfield over the weekend. The Frenchman hasn’t looked all that fluent on the right, but will be hoping to make a mark against Sevilla.
Spearheading the attack for the twenty-time English champions will be star marksman Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian grabbed a brilliant double in the weekend win and is looking in fine touch once again. He will want to make the most of his current form and make a telling impact in the midweek game.