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Without Herrera And Pogba, How Might Manchester United’s Midfield Line Up Against Swansea?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Paul Pogba of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Burnley at Old Trafford on October 29, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

Manchester United travel to the Liberty Stadium on Sunday in what has become a must-win Premier League match against Swansea City.

After a strong start, José Mourinho’s side have been something of a tailspin lately and after winning just once in the league since August, already sit in eighth place eight points behind joint-leaders Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.

However, they may head into Sunday’s game with something of an understrength starting eleven. With Antonio Valencia and Eric Bailly set to be out for a number of weeks, Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo are likely to start once again.

As if that wasn’t bad enough (because Mourinho patently doesn’t trust that pair), Man United are likely to be without two-thirds of their first choice midfield.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 03:  Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba of Manchester United speak to the referee during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Fenerbahce SK and Manchester United FC at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium on November 3, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Ander Herrera will definitely miss out having picked up a red card in the 0-0 draw against Burnley last weekend, while Paul Pogba limped off with a thigh injury in the midweek Europa League defeat to Fenerbahce. While the French international is still technically only a doubt for the match on Sunday, the chances of him starting currently look slim.

Man United’s midfield has been one of the few positives in recent weeks, so without Pogba and Herrera, who can Mourinho turn to in order to keep the side ticking over until the international break?

Michael Carrick

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Michael Carrick of Manchester United in action during the UEFA Europa League match between Manchester United FC and Fenerbahce SK at Old Trafford on October 20, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)

At this late stage of his career, it’s fairly blatant that Carrick cannot play in every match. However, he is arguably Man United’s best available midfielder for Sunday’s game. An unused substitute against Burnley last Saturday, Carrick would be well rested enough to start against Swansea.

 

Marouane Fellaini

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: N'Golo Kante of Chelsea passes the ball past Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on October 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Having actually been one of Manchester United’s better performers in the early parts of the season, Fellaini has fully regressed back to the ineffectual bag of elbows that have embodied his Old Trafford career. Bafflingly introduced as a late substitute against Burnley, Fellaini will probably start against Swansea due to Mourinho’s apparent fondness for him.

Morgan Schneiderlin

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: Morgan Schneiderlin of Manchester United in action during the EFL Cup Third Round match between Northampton Town and Manchester United at Sixfields on September 21, 2016 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)

Schneiderlin has very much become a fringe player at Old Trafford. The French international has played around five minutes of Premier League action all season, and looks like he will be one of the first to go in Mourinho’s potential clear-out. However, needs must, and the 26-year-old might finally be entrusted with some league action in Herrera’s absence. Not likely, but not impossible either.

Wayne Rooney

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 03: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United looks on during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Fenerbahce SK and Manchester United FC at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium on November 3, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Could be given the nod to start in the number ten role once again due to the rule that every time he scores a goal he’s “back” or something, nonetheless without Pogba as an option Mourinho may once again turn to his captain. Highly unlikely to start in midfield as Mourinho has said that he won’t play Rooney that far back, but he’s gone back on that once before…

Timothy Fosu-Mensah

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Timothy Fosu-Mensah of Manchester United heads the ball during The Emirates FA Cup, sixth round replay between West Ham United and Manchester United at the Boleyn Ground on April 13, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Another long shot, and a highly improbable one at that. Fosu-Mensah has just three appearances to his name this season and the chances of Mourinho turning to the 18-year-old when there are other options available are almost non-existent.

Bastian Schweinsteiger

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Bastian Schweinsteiger of Manchester United warms up prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Observe Mourinho’s response to being asked if Schweinsteiger will play for Man United in the near future…

Take is as read that the former German international will not be playing on Sunday. In fact, Usain Bolt or Haramabe would be more likely to play for Manchester United at this stage.

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With so much at stake, Mourinho is likely to play it as safe as possible at the Liberty – to that end, expect something like this to be Man United’s lineup (assuming Pogba doesn’t start)…

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.