Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho had suggested that a number of big players would be left out of his squad to face Bournemouth on Wednesday – and he has duly backed that up.
After Sunday’s lackustre showing in the surprise home defeat to West Bromwich Albion, and with an FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham to come this weekend, Mourinho has omitted some of his more high-profile players for the clash at the Vitality Stadium.
Antonio Valenica, Ashley Young, Eric Bailly, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku have all been left out of the starting eleven, allowing for rare starts for the likes of Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial (in a striker role).
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Paul Pogba does start despite concerns that he would be another absentee, while the majority of the big players left out have been named on the substitutes’ bench should they be needed over the course of the 90 minutes.
Man United can all-but secure a top four place if they defeat Eddie Howe’s side. Mourinho was adamant this week that their place in next season’s Champions League was not yet secure, but victory will see them move to fourteen points clear of Chelsea with just a handful of matches remaining.