Thursday night matches can no longer be taken for granted due to the added incentive of Europa League winner automatically qualifying for next season’s champions’ league. Jose Mourinho has sympathized with his side since they are the only English side still taking part in all four competitions they started the season in, he however hinted at fielding a strong side since this could eventually be his side’s route to champions’ league next season.
Tonight’s match has been dubbed the battle of Pogbas as Paul Pogba faces his older brother Florentin Pogba who plays Center back for St Etienne. In his per-match press conference, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho expressed his sympathy for mama Pogba who has been said to want a draw in tonight’s showdown between the Pogbas. He however asserted that tonight on Pogba shall smile and the other shall cry, so who between the two will smile?
Here are the likely line ups to do battle tonight.
Manchester united are expected to line up in a 4-2-3-1 as follows;
David De Gea is expected to continue his superb performances between the posts, Sergio Romero has however been used in Europe in the past and has been a capable deputy, he could as well retain his role for this match.
Jose has confirmed that he won’t change the back four that kept a clean sheet against The Hornets, Phil Jones and Luke Shaw are still not available for selection while Marcos Rojo has recovered completely
Antonio Valencia will take his usual place in right back, Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly will be the center backs while Daley Blind will continue at left back.
Michael Carrick is the only midfielder who didn’t travel with the team; Bastian Schweinsteiger has recently found his way back into the team and might as well earn a starting place tonight. Herrera who is only one booking from missing one match could be rested for this match.
Pogba and Bastian could start in the base of midfield with Schweinsteiger sitting back and Pogba playing box to box. In attacking midfield, Martial should continue out on the left with the rejuvenated Mkhitaryan playing no.10 and Mata out wide on the right.
With Wayne Rooney not travelling with the team due to illness, Zlatan Ibrahimovic should continue his fantastic run against St Etienne whom he’s scored 14 goals in 13 matches against.
Saint-Etienne are missing the services of Oussama Tannane, Robert Beric, Alexander Soderlund while Cheikh M’Bengue and Erin Pinhero are doubtful.
Their likely lineup using 4-2-3-1 is as follows;
Ruffier, Malcuit, Theophile-Catherine, Perrin, Pogba, Pajot, Veretout, Hamouma, Saivet, Monnet-Paquet, Roux