Manchester United vs Saint Etienne: Jose Mourinho’s strongest potential XI

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho will be desperate to come away from the first leg of this Europa League tie with Saint Etienne firmly in the driving seat.

Manchester United benefited from securing a healthy advantage in the League Cup semi-final first leg against Hull City, and with their relatively poor recent record away from home in mind Mourinho could be tempted to field a full strength attacking line-up against Christophe Galtier’s side.

Here is the best possible attacking line-up Mourinho could field against the French side on Thursday night.

It would be strongly unlike ASSE to sit back behind the ball all evening. The Ligue 1 side have always placed emphasis on a dynamic, forward thinking approach, and Mourinho will want to ensure that his men exploit any gaps left in defence.

Combining the raw speed of Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia, therefore, could prove to be an excellent formula. With the pair bombing down the touchline, Henrikh Mkhitaryan – an effervescent force during recent wins over Leicester City and Watford – would have plenty of space to wreak havoc at No.10, with Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba acting as competent sources of support in central midfield.

Anthony Martial and Juan Mata both dazzled supporters during last weekend’s win over Watford, and Mourinho will have no reason to leave the pair out on Thursday night.

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