It may be December, but Manchester United’s game with Tottenham Hotspur this Sunday feels like something of a cup final.
Victory would galvanise Jose Mourinho’s men ahead of a busy Christmas schedule, reducing the gap between them and Spurs – who lie in fifth spot – to three points.
Defeat, on the other hand, could see them fall 12 points adrift of fourth spot if Manchester City beat Leicester City on Saturday – effectively putting an end to United’s hopes of securing a Champions League spot.
With this in mind, here is the strongest XI that Mourinho could field on Sunday.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, after an eight game goalless spell, has now netted eight goals in his past seven games after claiming his 13th Man United goal against Zorya Luhansk. Zlatan during a purple patch is an inherently dangerous thing, and Mourinho will want to see the ball at his feet on a regular basis on Sunday.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan once again dazzled the watching world on Thursday. His goal in the 48th minute – a calm finish that followed a simply sublime run through the heart of Zorya’s defence – was nothing short of mesmerising. His involvement on Sunday almost goes without saying.