With Manchester United having lost just twice since October, Jose Mourinho appears to have discovered an effective formula at Old Trafford.
Mourinho’s preferred XI recently has featured a midfield two of Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata have supported Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
This line-up has seen the Red Devils turn a corner in terms of results as they still seek glory in all four competitions.
And they could be lifting the first trophy of the domestic season this weekend as they travel to Wembley to face Southampton in the EFL Cup final.
Since qualifying for the final, Mourinho must have had his starting line-up in mind as he prepares to take on Claude Puel’s side. However, those plans will probably have to be scrapped after United’s Europa League clash against Saint-Ettiene.
Despite the Red Devils taking a 3-0 aggregate lead to France, Mourinho fielded a strong side which saw them win 1-0 on the night to ease into the last-16 of the competition.
However, it came at a cost with both Mkhitaryan and Carrick limping off with injuries.
After the game, Mourinho all but ruled them out of the clash on Sunday by saying: “Honestly, I don’t think he [Mkhitaryan] is fit,” said Mourinho. “Him and Michael, I think they are both out, but this is based on my experience, not on my medical knowledge and not based on tests.
“I think no chance. But I repeat it’s just my experience, a calf, a hamstring, even if it’s minor minor, some fibre damage, I think they’re out.”
So, how will United line up in the cup final without two key players?
Well, two former United players - and BT Sport pundits - have predicted the starting XI Mourinho will field against the Saints.
Sorry, United fans but it includes Marouane Fellaini.
Here is is:
As you can, Owen and Scholes believe that Pogba should be pushed further forward - a role where he struggled against Liverpool and Chelsea back in October.
Meanwhile, the two pundits have opted for Mata on the right wing, rather than Jesse Lingard or Marcus Rashford.
Elsewhere, they don’t believe captain Wayne Rooney deserves a spot after he’s set to return to the matchday squad following a recent injury.
There’s certainly plenty of options for Mourinho and he has a couple of days to deliberate over them between now and Sunday.
Whether or not he listens to Owen and Scholes remains to be seen.News Now - Sport News