Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is set to ring in the changes for his side’s UEFA Champions League encounter against Valencia.
Manchester United will face off against La Liga outfit Valencia in their final Group H encounter of the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League at the Mestalla on Wednesday night.
Having already qualified for the knockout stages, the Red Devils are likely to make a number of changes to the starting lineup, especially with a big game against Liverpool lined up at the weekend.
To that end, manager Jose Mourinho has decided to leave behind a number of his first-team regulars for the trip to Spain, while calling up academy products James Garner and Mason Greenwood to the squad. However, the Portuguese did confirm that neither of the youngsters will be part of the starting XI against Los Che.
Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Mourinho said, “The kids won’t start the match. Garner will be on the bench, and Mason is the protection player, in case we have any injuries. We have players that need to play; we have players that deserve to play so, in spite of leaving a few players in Manchester, we are going to play with a team only with players from the first team.”
First-choice goalkeeper David de Gea is one of the string of superstars Mourinho has left behind in Manchester. That would mean Sergio Romero is in line for a rare start between the sticks on Wednesday night.
Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian, Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof are all sidelined with injuries, while the manager has opted to rest Diogo Dalot, who impressed against Fulham last weekend. Captain Antonio Valencia is set to feature as the right-back, while Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are likely to get the nod at the heart of the defence.
Ashley Young is in the squad, but is likely to be on the bench, keeping in mind the game against Liverpool at the weekend, meaning Marcos Rojo is in line to start as the left-sided full-back for Manchester United.
Nemanja Matic has also not travelled to Spain with the rest of the squad. Andreas Pereira, who spent a season on loan at Valencia, is likely to feature from kick-off in the middle of the park, in place of the Serbian international.
Paul Pogba, after sitting out back to back games, is set to start on Wednesday night, the manager had confirmed post the Fulham encounter itself. Speaking of the Frenchman in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, Mourinho said, “I’m looking for him to play well, and to have a good impact in the game and in the team.”
Summer signing Fred could be set to take up the third midfield slot for the visitors, with Scott McTominay and Ander Herrera providing options from the bench.
Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez are both unavailable, as they recover from their respective injuries. Marcus Rashford is part of the squad, but is unlikely to be starting on Wednesday, with the Liverpool game coming up.
His place on the left flank is likely to be taken up by Jesse Lingard, with Juan Mata set to feature from the kick-off against his former club on the right. Romelu Lukaku, who was on the scoresheet against Fulham at the weekend, is expected to lead the line.