With some tough games for the teams around them, it’s imperative Manchester United pick up maximum points when Middlesbrough visit on Saturday.
They’ll have to do it without one of their most important players, it’s been revealed, as Michael Carrick will play no part in the game.
Manchester Evening News are reporting this evening that the veteran Englishman was not present as the squad arrived at their team hotel.
United are yet to lose a game this season this season in which Carrick started despite questions over his age. The balance and stability he offers to the team has allowed Paul Pogba to roam and the Frenchman has come into his own in the more advanced role. That midfield three, alongside with Ander Herrera, has been central to the tremendous form the Reds are currently going through.
It seems Mourinho will revert to a midfield two, resting the 35-year-old with the trip to West Ham just two days away. A considerably less likely, but much more exciting alternative is maintaining the current system and replacing Carrick with Bastian Schweinsteiger.
With Liverpool facing Manchester City on New Year’s Eve, if Mourinho’s charges can overcome Boro, they’ll close the extensive gap on the top four.
Rory Murphy, Pundit Arena
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