Manchester United continue their Europa League campaign on Thursday evening, as they take on Ukranian side Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford.
Having lost their opening match to Feyenoord in Rotterdam, Man United boss José Mourinho has already stated that there can be no mistakes this time around – this is arguably the easiest tie they will face (on paper) in the whole group stage, and that has to be reflected with a positive result.
However, that does not mean the manager will not make changes to his squad. Samuel Lockhurst of the Manchester Evening News has revealed what he believes is the full squad to face Zorya tonight – and the list does not include the name of either David de Gea or Memphis Depay.
Luke Shaw and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have also been omitted, though the latter was confirmed yesterday and the former was a near certainty after he was sent home from training,
Phil Jones suffered another injury setback recently, but Anthony Martial returns to the squad having recovered from injury.
De Gea has started almost every game so far – with the exception of the EFL Cup win at Northampton – and he is just probably being rested for Sunday, but the absence of Memphis is an interesting one.
Assuming the Dutch international is not injured then it does not bode well for him. The 22-year-old has played roughly six minutes of Premier League football the cups and Europe appear to be his only source of first team football, but he did not start against Feyenoord and has apparently not even made the bench for tonight.
Lockhurst is speculating as to the names in the squad from spotting the team emerge from the bus on their way into a local hotel. Though the report mentions the fact that neither Paul Pogba nor Daley Blind were spotted either, this is not out of the ordinary and they are expected to meet up with the squad in due course.
Oddly, the report makes no reference whatsoever to Ander Herrera. He was not on the list of reported names, so either he too is being rested for Stoke on Sunday, or else that was an emission on M.E.N.’s part. Time will tell.
In terms of the starting lineup, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is already a confirmed starter, while Sergio Romero is expected to come in for De Gea and Daley Blind will continue at left-back for Luke Shaw.
Wayne Rooney, if 100% fit, will come back into the starting eleven, which will likely see Juan Mata revert to the bench once again.
Reported Manchester United Squad:
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero, Sam Johnstone
Defenders: Matteo Darmian, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind
Midfielders: Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick, Morgan Schneiderlin, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young, Paul Pogba, (Ander Herrera?)
Forwards: Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford