Manchester United vs Middlesbrough: Potential starting XI with Mkhitaryan and Martial

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho will be keen to see his Manchester United side end 2016 in style against Middlesbrough on New Year’s eve.

Victory over Aitor Karanka’s side would see Man United claim their sixth successive win, whilst also extending their unbeaten run to 12 games.

The 53-year-old, speaking after United’s 3-1 win over Sunderland on Boxing Day, hailed the impact brought by Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the second half.

And with that in mind, here is a potential starting XI for the game against Middlesbrough with the pair restored to the starting XI.

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The introduction of Mkhitaryan and Martial completely changed the game’s pattern on Boxing Day, with Mourinho’s men – blunt edged and slightly ponderous before the pair were brought on – suddenly rampaging forward with a renewed sense of purpose.

The Frenchman’s raw speed and the Armenian’s sheer creative zeal injected some much needed attacking impetus into United’s display, and David Moyes’ men simply couldn’t cope.

Such an influence from the start against Middlesbrough – winless in their last nine away games – could wreak havoc during the early stages. Middlesbrough, above anything, place emphasis on defensive organisation and muscle, and the sheer speed and unpredictability brought by the duo might be exactly what Mourinho will need on Saturday.

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