Manchester United travel to Ukraine for their Europa League game with Zorya Luhansk on Thursday knowing that a point would guarantee them a place in the next round.
Jose Mourinho’s men currently occupy second spot in Group A, just one point behind Fenerbahce.
A win on Thursday, coupled with Fenerbahce’s failure to win away to Feyenoord, would ensure that Man United top their group.
And with Mourinho desperate to raise spirits following another calamitous draw on the weekend, here are three players that the 53-year-old must not start on Thursday.
I’m pretty sure that Gary Neville, furiously labelling the Belgian as ‘pathetic’ and ‘stupid’ after giving away a needless penalty against Everton, was the only United fan not spewing expletives in the 29-year-old’s direction. Fellaini, in one foolish swipe at the legs of Idrissa Gueye, stripped the visitors of a win they desperately needed, and most United fans, for the next few days, will be thinking more along the lines of ‘sell him to Sunderland’ as opposed to ‘start him in an important European game’.
Mourinho, on several occasions, has insisted that Carrick cannot play more than once a week. And following two 90 minute stints in the space of four days, one imagines that the Portuguese will spare the 35-year-old from the lengthy trip to Ukraine, keeping him in prime condition for the must-win game against Tottenham Hotspur next Sunday.
The Argentine, alongside Phil Jones, has grown in stature at the back in recent weeks, forming an indomitable partnership with the Englishman in the absence of both Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling. However, the 26-year-old, following a lengthy spell in the first team, begun to show signs of fatigue against Everton, and Mourinho may be tempted to use the game on Thursday as a chance to reintroduce Eric Bailly, who made the match-day squad for the first time at Goodison Park since his injury in October.