Jose Mourinho is expected to reinstate both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial into the starting lineup as Manchester United take on Bournemouth.
Manchester United conceded the Premier League title in embarrassing fashion, losing to rock-bottom West Brom in a toothless display. And Jose Mourinho has already iterated that the squad will face backlash for the performance, with the manager set to drop several players from the starting lineup.
Asked in the pre-match conference as to whether it will be to rest players, Jose Mourinho clearly stated that it was more to give others opportunity to stake a claim in the starting lineup rather than resting players, while adding that he does not select by stature or player value, but the level of performance.
“If I play a player against Bournemouth and the player is phenomenal, he will play in the semi-final, so it is not rotating, because rotating looks like a player that plays against Bournemouth is to give a rest to somebody that is going to play against Spurs in the semi-final.”
“So the word is not rotation, it is an opportunity for some people to play and to try to get a place in the team against Spurs and some of the guys that played today [against West Brom] don’t have a place in that team.”
“What is the criteria for a manager to choose a team? I only know one criteria, the way they play. It is the only way I can select players, or do you want me to go for the price they cost, or their salary, or their beautiful face, or… [no], the only way is to go with performance.”
The defence is the first area to see a change, with Eric Bailly likely to be reinstated into the starting lineup. Another and perhaps a shocking inclusion, could be Luke Shaw on the left. Victor Lindelof should be retained to try out the partnership between Bailly and the Swede while Antonio Valencia should also keep his spot on the right, mainly for the lack of options, at least in Mourinho’s eyes.
We should see Scott McTominay return to the lineup in the pivot role alongside Nemanja Matic. But, perhaps, the most optimistic change will be the reinstatement of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial on either wing, with Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku making up the attacking quartet.
Jose Mourinho already hinted changes in his pre-match conference and it will be interesting to see how the team performs without the likes of Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata.