Gary Neville has explained Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United team selection against Chelsea, claiming he was looking to implement a counter-attack style of play.
The Portuguese boss left Zlatan Ibrahimovic out of the starting line-up for the clash against Antonio Conte’s men at Old Trafford as he was too tired to play a part.
Ibrahimovic admitted after the game against Anderlecht that he was feeling the effects of playing so much football this campaign as only Paul Pogba has played as many games as the big Swede.
Speaking about the team, Neville insists Mourinho has still played a very strong team to face Chelsea.
“Mourinho said he was going to play a strong side and I think he will argue that he has,” Neville said.
“The team is a mixture of preparation for the Europa League match on Thursday but also a tactic that Jose Mourinho believes can be successful against Chelsea, the one they couldn’t see off in the FA Cup because of the sending off to Herrera.
“It seems to me that he’s going down a similar route.
“It looks like a counter-attack emphasis with Rashford. Ibrahimovic has played a lot of football and there’s no doubt the Europa League is the best chance to qualify for the Champions League with the fixtures they’ve got coming up.
“It does look like a team tat will play deeper, may even look like six at the back at times and then try and catch Chelsea on the break.
“But I think if you were Chelsea, you would respond positively to that team, thinking that two of United’s best attacking players aren’t playing.”
United are still in the top four race, but with all the recent draws the task at hand has only gotten harder which is why there is such a big emphasis on the Europa League.
Mourinho will be looking to rotate his players accordingly as he won’t give up on the Premier League until it’s mathematically impossible.