Reports widely suggest Marcus Rashford hasn’t travelled with his Manchester United teammates for Monday night’s FA Cup tie with Chelsea but there are other murmurs bubbling under the surface.
Could Rashford actually be fine for the game? Could Jose Mourinho be using some mind games ahead of kick-off? With Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic definitely unavailable and Anthony Martial also reportedly injured, fans are certainly hoping so and one hinted that something is certainly going on.
was on same train as team to Euston. Rashford got on (alone) at Macc, so has definitely travelled
— Jim Shaw (@jimshaw1977) March 12, 2017
We’re all sitting here hoping this is true but the magic of it is that regardless of whether the stories are true or not, it has already served its purpose. Antonio Conte may have been confident about how Man United were going to line-up on Monday which makes it easier for him to prepare Chelsea to face us, so a big uncertainty over who is going to be play and where makes it harder to prepare against.
Reports like this do get people talking about how United are going to play. What will the formation be? Who will line up where? Will both Martial and Rashford be surprise names on the team-sheet? I love a good mind game, it harks back to one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s greatest traits as a manager and it is something he certainly has in common with Mourinho in that respect.
Tonight is going to be a tough game for United. Chelsea have won their last 12 games at home and we’ve only won at Stamford Bridge a few times since the turn of the century, so if Mourinho can upset the apple cart and give United an edge? I’m all for it. We’ll find out at 7pm when the team news is out.