Manchester United will be desperate to pull ahead of the competition with a win as they take on Fenerbahçe in the Europa League on Thursday.
United currently sit second in the group with six points, level with Dutch side Feyenoord who beat them in the opening fixture. Tomorrow’s opponents Fenerbahçe are lagging two points behind the Reds in third place while Zorya Luhansk sit last with one point.
Full Squad: De Gea, Romero, Johnstone, Blind, Jones, Darmian, Fosu-Mensah, Rojo, Shaw, Fellaini, Herrera, Mkhitaryan, Lingard, Mata, Pogba, Schneiderlin, Young, Ibrahimovic, Martial, Rashford, Rooney.
Notable additions include Phil Jones and Henrikh Mkhitaryan who have both not featured in recent times. Mkhitaryan’s last appearance was against Manchester City nearly two months ago where he severely under-performed, resulting in Jose Mourinho replacing him at half time. To be fair though, he may not have been 100% match fit as he was rushed back from injury. But with the £26 million man having only played four times since joining in the summer, he will be desperate to finally prove his value.
Jones, on the other hand, has not featured at all this season with his last appearance being on January 2nd, eleven months ago. He has been kept out by a string of seemingly never-ending injuries, with ankle and knee problems being the main culprits.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, who trained with the rest of the squad this week, has not traveled as he is ineligible for the group stages of the Europa League.
Wayne Rooney looks set to play as Mourinho views the Europa League as an opportunity to field relatively unused players, since he is struggling to break into the Premier League United lineup. Rooney has been banished from both club and country first teams after a string of bad performances. It will be a good opportunity for him to prove his doubters wrong.
It remains to be seen if Jose will drop or rest the out-of-form Ibrahimovic. Zlatan has only scored once in ten games, missing a number of notable chances.
I’m predicting a 2-2 draw in Istanbul. The Turkish side are no pushovers at home, and with Robin Van Persie in their ranks who scored at Old Trafford two weeks ago, they will be extra motivated to get something out the match.
United aren’t in the greatest form despite an absolutely dominating performance on the weekend too.