Manchester United vs Sunderland: Potential XI without Michael Carrick and Henrikh Mkhitaryan

by Leo Nieboer

Manchester United can extend their unbeaten run to 11 games – and their winning streak to five – against Sunderland on Boxing Day.

Sunderland’s visit marks David Moyes’ first return to Old Trafford since being dismissed in April 2014, and Jose Mourinho will be keen to take advantage of the visiting side’s poor away form this season (they have managed just one win in nine games on the road since the Scot took over).

Mourinho, following Man United’s 1-0 win over Tottenham Hostpur, claimed that Henrikh Mkhitaryan would return from injury in time for Boxing Day, but the Armenian is unlikely to feature after not training with the squad earlier this week.

With that in mind, here is a potential XI for the game against Sunderand without the 27-year-old.

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Michael Carrick, despite Mourinho adamance that the 35-year-old could not play more than once a week, has featured in successive games against Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion over a six day period.

One suspects that the boss will be tempted to rest the Englishman and place Ander Herrera at the base of midfield, making way for Juan Mata to play slightly further forward alongside Pogba.

Jesse Lingard, following a sensational performance during United’s 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion, deserves to keep his place on the right hand side.

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