Manchester United prepare for their final Champions League match of 2017. Jose Mourinho’s team is almost certain of the first place in their group. There are 90 minutes left of play and United should only avoid losing 5-0 in order to stay top of Group A.
Their rival is CSKA Moscow. The first match of the two teams ended in a big 4-1 win for the Reds. However, this time is another game. CSKA have an imperative to win if they want to reach the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
Man United, on the other side, will not be too fascinated with this clash, as they prepare for one of their most important matches of the season so far.
Jose Mourinho Should Rotate
With the match being not to important from the table standings perspective, the manager should probably rest some players. Most notably, Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku could do with a night off. The Serbian was not fully fit prior to the Arsenal game, but managed to make a great performance.
Lukaku, on the other hand, had a good all-round game, but is still in search of a goal. This could be a match where we finally see Zlatan Ibrahimovic make a start after a long-term injury. The Swedish striker recovered from cruciate ligament injury and could get some weight off Lukaku’s shoulders.
Manchester City On The Horizon
The most important part about the rotation is usually in regard of looking ahead. And Manchester United will play a crucial match this coming weekend. Manchester City will visit Old Trafford in another Manchester Derby. This one, though, seems like the most important one in recent years.
The Citizens have an eight-point lead over United and should they win, their lead will be a double-digit one, for the first time this season. That is why Man United should prioritize the derby this week, with CSKA being just a minor match compared to it.
Paul Pogba will not play due to his three-match ban earned after a straight red card against Arsenal. The Frenchmen will be duly missed and that is why all the focus must fall on the city derby. United cannot afford to lose if they want to have any go at the title race. If they manage to win and continue their impeccable home form, the league will became wide open in mid-December.
That is always good.
Manchester United Hope For A ‘Quiet’ CSKA Match
Jose Mourinho confirmed on Monday that Sergio Romero will be in goal, while Joel Pereira will be the backup goalkeeper. Therefore, David De Gea will get a rest after an incredible performance at the Emirates.
And Mourinho should really hope for an uneventful match on Tuesday night. With Phil Jones and Eric Bailly missing several previous matches, Man United cannot afford any other injuries.
Mourinho insisted he will not rotate too much, as United still have not mathematically confirmed their place in the last 16 of the Champions League. However, with that qualification being imminent, the manager should give chance to some backup players. Manchester United will need to be at their best this coming Sunday.