Manchester United will be pitted against Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough at Old Trafford in the Premier League on this afternoon, the first meeting between the two sides since they last met in the League Cup on the 28th October 2015, drawing 0-0 at the Theatre of Dreams, but losing 3-1 on penalties. In the league, Middlesbrough last met United on the 2nd May 2009, with United winning 2-0 with Ryan Giggs and Ji-Sung Park scoring the goals. Boro have a few former United players with Victor Valdes and Fabio da Silva on their ranks. Karanka worked with Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid a few years ago, so this match will mark the first battle between the two managers. United are on an eleven match unbeaten run, winning their last four matches in the Premier League, cutting an eleven point lead by Arsenal down to just four points, which shows just how open the top four is this season. United are still three points behind fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, which will most likely keep them in sixth place for their last match of 2016 whether it is a win, a loss or a draw. Mourinho will be looking to make it five in a row in the league, though, as with the players and the supporters.
Valencia, Smalling (C), Bailly, Blind;
Mkhitaryan, Pogba, Martial;
Romero, Jones, Rojo, Lingard, Mata, Schweinsteiger, Rashford