Jose Mourinho has confirmed he will name an unchanged defence to face St.Etienne on Thursday.
Manchester United haven’t conceded a goal in their last four games and with Eric Bailly now back in the team we are looking even stronger in defence. There are calls for Luke Shaw to be given an opportunity but it’s not something Mourinho is willing to give right now as he doesn’t want to change a winning formula.
Speaking about his defence in the St.Etienne pre-match press conference, Mourinho said: “He’s not playing tomorrow because my team is playing well and I’m happy with my back four and I’m going to repeat: Valencia, Bailly, Smalling and Daley Blind.”
If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. United have been excellent in our last two games, other than the opening 20 minutes against Leicester City where we struggled in a 4-4-2 formation, and there is no need to change the defence in that respect.
With Chris Smalling, it’s a real opportunity to establish himself properly and find the sort of form which made him one of the best defenders in the Premier League last season. As for Bailly, he’s our best defender at the club and deserves to be in any starting XI.
It’s certainly the left-back spot which is still United’s weakness, although Daley Blind did play well against Watford to be fair to him. However, Mourinho is sticking with his man and until United lose or concede some goals, he really has got no reason to make changes which could jeopardise that.
As much as fans want to see Shaw play, I think he’ll have to wait for United’s defence to slip up first before he gets an opportunity. That’s what it sounds like from Mourinho’s comments.