Home Football The Rotated Starting XI Manchester United Should Put Out Against Wigan

The Rotated Starting XI Manchester United Should Put Out Against Wigan

With one cup final appearance in the bag, Manchester United will look to make progress in another when they welcome Wigan to Old Trafford in an FA Cup fourth round clash on Sunday afternoon.

Having won the competition last season under Louis van Gaal, José Mourinho will be loath to go out of the cup at an early stage, especially at home to a Championship side.

As such, he is highly unlikely to go with a fully weakened squad, though will be mindful of the fact that they face Hull City in the Premier League three days later.

Mourinho has already confirmed that goalkeeper Sergio Romero and the reportedly unhappy Anthony Martial will start, while the likes of Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford can also expect to play a big role.

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Goalkeeper:

Sergio Romero

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07:  Sergio Romero of Manchester United in action during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Manchester United and Reading at Old Trafford on January 7, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Romero was used in the early rounds of the EFL Cup and Europa League, as well as the FA Cup third round game against Reading, and will get another chance to impress on Sunday with his start already guaranteed by the manager.

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Defenders:

Right-Back: Matteo Darmian

HULL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Matteo Darmian of Manchester United and Adama Diomande of Hull City chase the ball during the EFL Cup Semi-Final second leg match between Hull City and Manchester United at KCOM Stadium on January 26, 2017 in Hull, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Centre-Back: Chris Smalling

HULL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26:  Oumar Niasse of Hull City and Chris Smalling of Manchester United chase the ball during the EFL Cup Semi-Final second leg match between Hull City and Manchester United at KCOM Stadium on January 26, 2017 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Centre-Back: Marcos Rojo

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07:  Marcos Rojo of Manchester United reacts following an injury during the Emirates FA Cup third round match between Manchester United and Reading at Old Trafford on January 7, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Left-Back: Luke Shaw

WATFORD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Luke Shaw of Manchester United (R) takes the ball past Etienne Capoue of Watford (L)  during the Premier League match between Watford and Manchester United at Vicarage Road on September 18, 2016 in Watford, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

That arguably none of these four would be in Man United’s current strongest starting eleven highlights their strength in depth, given the fact that they are all full internationals.

On the right, Matteo Darmian started against Hull on Thursday and will probably do so again against Wigan, keeping Antonio Valencia for league duty next week.

In the centre, Eric Bailly’s imminent return has not come soon enough for this tie, so Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling will probably start with Phil Jones being rested for Wednesday.

On the left, meanwhile, Mourinho has implied that Luke Shaw will be brought in from the cold at the weekend – though questions still remain regarding his long-term future at Old Trafford.

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Midfielders:

Defensive Midfield: Timothy Fosu-Mensah

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Timothy Fosu-Mensah of Manchester United takes on George Evans of Reading during the Emirates FA Cup third round match between Manchester United and Reading at Old Trafford on January 7, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Centre Midfield: Marouane Fellaini

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester United at Bet365 Stadium on January 21, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Centre Midfield: Ander Herrera

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04:  Ander Herrera of Manchester United is chased by Gerard Deulofeu and Kevin Mirallas of Everton during the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on December 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

After a certain point, Mourinho is going to have to start ackkowledging the potential of his young players (though that was said when he was at Chelsea too) – to that end, an early-round FA Cup match against Championship opposition would be perfect for a player like Fosu-Mensah to show what he can do.

(That said, it’s significantly more likely that Wayne Rooney will start in a number ten role.)

Marouane Fellaini seems to have recovered somewhat from the nadir of being booed by his own club’s fans recently – whether he will still be at the club next season remains to be seen but for now, he is there and his recent appearances have probably warranted a start (unless José feels like dropping a grenade and starting Bastian Schweinsteiger).

With three games in a week probably too much for Michael Carrick by now and surely without the need for Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera is in line to fill the remaining midfield berth.

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Forwards:

Right Wing: Juan Mata

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10:  Juan Mata of Manchester United holds the ball during the EFL Cup Semi-Final First Leg match between Manchester United and Hull City at Old Trafford on January 10, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Left Wing: Anthony Martial

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10:  David Meyler of Hull City closes down Anthony Martial of Manchester United during the EFL Cup Semi-Final First Leg match between Manchester United and Hull City at Old Trafford on January 10, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Striker: Marcus Rashford

HULL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26:  Josh Tymon of Hull City and Marcus Rashford of Manchester United battle for the ball during the EFL Cup Semi-Final second leg match between Hull City and Manchester United at KCOM Stadium on January 26, 2017 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Juan Mata wasn’t involved on Thursday night, meaning he will be one of the fresher players on the pitch on Sunday. He is almost certain to start either this or the match against Hull next week (possibly both), as he battles with Henrikh Mkhitaryan for that right-wing role.

On the other flank, this game is absolutely massive for Anthony Martial. His manager has publicly challenged him to improve on his indifferent form – how the young forward responds to that could have a massive bearing on his future at the club.

Up front, although Zlatan Ibrahimovic is something of a machine in terms of fitness, Mourinho doesn’t want to be seen as over-reliant on the striker either. His goals have been vital in Man United’s good winter form, but a front three of Mata, Martial and Marcus Rashford has more than enough quality to get the job done.

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Man United Wigan

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