Jose Mourinho has claimed that he has already decided upon a starting XI for the Europa League final against Ajax on May 24.
Manchester United booked their place in the final last Thursday – their first since 2011 – with a nervy 1-1 draw at home to Celta Vigo.
The Portuguese made eight changes from the side that started against Celta for their 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, with Daley Blind, Eric Bailly and Jesse Lingard the only players keeping their place.
And Mourinho, speaking after the game, noted that he has already devised a starting XI ahead of the clash in Stockholm.
“I analyse the individual performances of the players,” Mourinho said. “Try to understand who can give me a little bit more for the final.
“Of course, I have in my mind already what I think is going to be the team but the players can influence decisions with positive or negative performances.”
The 54-year-old would have probably started to think about a starting XI for the final at the start of the month. You can only rest particular players and certain times if you know what your preferred outfit is going to be for the final, and Mourinho, with only 15 established first team players at his disposal, has clearly kept this in mind.
This is just another example of Mourinho’s pragmatism at work; supporters will just hope the players he has in mind for the game against Peter Bosz’s men remain fit over the next two games.