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What We Learned: Manchester United are out of the Carabao Cup, time to take advantage of fewer fixtures

Manchester United were knocked out of the Carabao Cup after a 2-1 defeat to Bristol City at Ashton Gate on Wednesday evening. It was a game United were trying to get the better of them from the very start of the game with Bristol on the attack and not showing any fear to Jose Mourinho’s side. Zlatan Ibrahimovic rattles the crossbar and Marcus Rashford rattled the post but it was Bristol who scored first in the 51st minute of the match. Ibrahimovic equalised eight minutes later but after that, despite United having chances, nothing was coming good. Three minutes were added at the end of the match and it seemed to be heading into extra time but Korey Smith scored the winner with United being the fourth Premier League side the Robins had knocked out this season.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic – he’s not past it yet – stop being a plumb

Many have been suggesting that Swedish striker is done. It was eight months ago that he suffered his knee injury and he was back in action before seven months were up. To suggest he is done is a pretty pathetic statement. Yes, he does not look like he did when he started to play for United but that is to be expected. Radamel Falcao endured a season on loan with United and another with Chelsea, only returning to his former self on his return to Monaco. I am not saying Ibrahimovic will return to himself in two years, or ever, but before you write him off, he should be given a chance.

The Swede was unlucky not to score a few goals against Bristol, rattling the crossbar and scoring that free-kick. It was all part of luck and United just did not have the rub of it at Ashton Gate. Ibrahimovic will need time and I was surprised he started this evening. Give him a month or two to get back into the swing of things and then see how it goes. Writing him off then would be too premature. The player believes he will return and so does the manager. They both see more than us to stop being reactionary and blaming something because United lost.

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Paul Pogba – rustiness or frustration?

Paul Pogba was back for United after sitting out the last three domestic fixtures due to that red card against Arsenal. The Frenchman was bound to be rusty and Jose Mourinho will perhaps hope that rustiness is out-of-the-way with United heading to Leicester on Saturday in the Premier League. It was a frustrating match for Pogba and looking at the performances from his teammates, that frustration is going to be present for a while yet.

Pogba had the chance to score for his club, a goal which would have been crucial but it just did not happen for him. That is bound to upset his mojo, as will being knockout out of the Carabao Cup by Championship opposition. Bristol deserved to win the match. They did not show United respect, which showed a professional team looking to cause another upset – knocking Watford, Stoke City, and Crystal Palace out of the cup already this season. Pogba is a player United need, the only inspiration on the pitch at times and hopefully, he will use this to be that figure again, starting on Saturday.

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Victor Lindelof – his performances are getting more confident – there is still improvement needed to be the first choice in defence

His debut was not the best in pre-season and competitively it did not get better but a few months into the season, the Swedish defender started to show signs that he was settling in and was starting to improve his game. Of course, it was never going to fall into place immediately. It didn’t for Patrice Evra or Nemanja Vidic and both became immense players for the club. The level of the opposition may have helped but Bristol never looked like a Championship team, just a team looking for the win – and they got it!

The match seemed to get to some of his teammates but Lindelof kept calm and composed which stood out for him. It will look good for his character and when he fully develops at the club, those characteristics could see him chosen over other players, which is probably why Mourinho made the move for him. Lindelof, however, was caught out for the winning goal, which he probably should have stopped, but his teammates were caught out too. That sort of thing happens and will be a learning curve.

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Conclusion

Manchester United, the holders, are out of the Carabao Cup this season. That will cut their January fixtures down by two matches which could have seen another two Manchester derby’s seeing as they are Bristol’s opposition in the semi-final. Bristol are worthy winners and against Manchester City, they may be that Championship team to knock five Premier League teams out of the Carabao Cup this season. United should not spend too long dwelling on the result. It is the Carabao Cup, a cup United were mocked for celebrating last season, by the fans of the three Premier League teams still in the competition, looking to celebrate the eventual win themselves, if they get there.

There are some advantages for United now they are out of the Carabao Cup. The fixtures would have been played during the weeks commencing the 8th January and the 22nd January. This now means that after United have played Derby County in the Emirates FA Cup, they will have ten days before they face Stoke City in the Premier League. Later in the month, there will be eleven days break between the visits to Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur. If United get into the fourth round of the FA Cup, there will be a game in between those two matches, maybe a postponement. United will play two fewer matches in January – that has to be a bonus, right?

Ratings: Mourinho said Manchester United were unlucky but they were just not good enough!

Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Bristol City in the fifth round of the Carabao Cup. United were the fourth Premier League team the Robins have knocked out of the competition this season and from the very start of the match it seemed the Championship high-flyers were well up for the challenge, showing the same belief in the dying seconds of injury time to win the game.

This United team were just not up for anything, which will send warning signs to Jose Mourinho. United players will be using social media telling the ‘fans’ that they will respond from the defeat and things will get better, which to be honest is something we have all heard before. United players need to pull their socks up and knuckle down or this sort of abject failure will become permanent.

I think it is great Bristol City have beaten United, being the fourth Premier League team they have knocked out of the competition and whoever they play in the semi-finals, they will be up for the challenge and will believe they can beat anyone, which is what cup games are all about. Matteo Darmian has to be the worst player on the pitch for United – many will wish him away from the club in January.

Jose Mourinho will have a lot to contend with before Saturday’s clash with Leicester City in the Premier League, both teams have been knocked out of the Carabao Cup this week, both will want to hit back – Leicester especially after already losing to United in the league this season.

Goals: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 58′

Manchester United: Romero; Lindelof, Rojo, Blind (Lukaku 61′); Darmian, McTominay, Pogba, Shaw; Rashford, Martial; Ibrahimovic (Mkhitaryan 69′)

Substitutes Not Used: Pereira; Smalling; Mata, Lingard, Herrera

Bookings: Marcus Rashford 74”, Paul Pogba 89′

Manchester United

22 Sergio Romero

The Argentinian number one did not have the best of matches against Bristol. He did make a few saves but he gave away possession a lot of the time. Could do nothing for either goal. Probably the worst result in a match he has played in since he came to the club.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Lindelof has come a long way since his first appearance for the club and he did get involved a lot tonight. He was caught out in both goals and should have done better.

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16 Marcos Rojo

Rojo has been poor since returning from injury. Many were excited when he came back but perhaps he is not yet fully fit. He was outpaced in Bryan's opener and never really recovered.

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17 Daley Blind

Caught in possession on numerous occasions. Headed a shotoff the line and put in a great last-ditch challenge to deny a goal. Not sure midfield is his place anymore.

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Matteo Darmian

Made his first start since the Basel defeat. Not sure where his future lies but it is not in Manchester. Started well at the club but his development here has gone backwards. Time to cut losses and get rid of the players who just don't fit in - there are many.

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39 Scott McTominay

Had two shots on goal - both blazed over the crossbar. Seemed out of the game at times. His passes were short and simple and this will be a match where he will learn a few things, all part of development.

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6 Paul Pogba

It was a frustrating night for the Frenchman who had been missed over the last three matches. Had a good chance but shot wide. Booked late in the second half.

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23 Luke Shaw

The England defender is still impressing. Was caught in possession a few times but tracked back to alleviate the damage. Brownhill gave him a game. Still a shoe in for a regular place at left-back.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Unlucky not to score, the post got in the way. Got involved in the game, but it did not work. Booked for a rash retaliatory challenge.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman was United's main attacking presence in the game. Put in a great cross for Ibrahimovic and had many tricks up his sleeve. Sadly it did not get United ahead of the game.

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10 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Started his first game in eight months. Scored the equaliser from a free-kick. Struggled at times, but that is to be expected after his injury and the fact he had played just over an hour of football since he came back, before tonight anyway.

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Substitutes

Romelu Lukaku

Replaced Blind 61'. Stung the palms of the Bristol keeper and had a headed effort too. Got United more involved in the game but it did not work out for them.

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22 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Replaced Ibrahimovic 69'. Missed the last six games. Looked lively. Was supported throughout the game. Needs to be given another chance on Saturday.

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Report: Manchester United out of the Carabao Cup after poor performance against Bristol City

Manchester United were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Bristol City. It was the Robins who scored the first goal in the 51st minute of the match through Joe Bryan but Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the equaliser seven minutes later. United had chances to go ahead for the first time, but nothing was working. In the final seconds of the match, in true dramatic style, Korey Smith scored the winner, sending the holders packing. United were the fourth Premier League side Bristol have knocked out of the competition this season.

Jose Mourinho made nine changes to his side which beat West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. Sergio Romero, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all came into the team to replace David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku.

The Robins started brightly, seeking to get on the front foot early in to the game. Jamie Paterson picked up the ball in a little bit of space about 20-yards out by Blind dispossessed him A few minutes later, it was United’s turn to press the home side after McTominay muscled past two Bristol players earning his side a free kick. Josh Brownhill had a shot for Bristol from about 30-yards out from a free-kick – Romero punched it over the crossbar. The resulting corner caused problems for United with Bristol up for this game.

In the 12th minute of the match, after some good interplay, United broke forward with Martial on the left, Ibrahimovic running to the far post with the Frenchman curling in a decent ball to the Swede who saw his shot bounce off the crossbar. I bet the media will be unhappy that their stories about Ibrahimovic not being fit enough seemed to be utter garbage once again, yet people still believe them. Bristol seemed comfortable playing in United’s half for a period of time before United regained possession of the ball.

Martial was looking up for the game tonight, getting forward into the dangerous places but saw his shot blocked. McTominay then slammed his effort over the crossbar from a half-volley from 25-yards out. United seemed to be getting into the match around the 20-minute mark of the match. Rashford hit the post in the 21st minute after space was opened up 20-yards out, he then thundered a low effort towards the goal, the ball coming off the inside of the post. United were knocking on the door at this point of the match.

In the 24th minute of the match, it was Pogba’s turn to have a shot on goal after gaining ground. His effort was just wide of the target but it did threaten the home side. United conceded in the 29th minute of the match after Romero tried to clear the ball after catching it and Aden Flint running past him at the point he threw it, obstructing him and finding the back of the net. The goal was disallowed. In the 31st minute of the match, Hörður Magnússon forced a save from the Argentinian after a period of good play in United’s area.

United won a corner in the 39th minute of the match after Pogba passed forward with Ibrahimovic in the box trying to get United off the line. The ball was deflected out with Blind taking the corner and the Swede near the far post again, aiming to score but his shot rising over the crossbar from a tricky angle. Bristol were seeming through on goal in the 42nd minute but Blind’s challenge saw United avoid conceding what probably would have been the first goal of the game. It was 0-0 at the end of the half.

No changes were made by either manager at the start of the second half. Paterson was booked in the 47th minute after fouling Pogba with United winning the free-kick. The free-kick was taken by Rashford, with a low drive but it hit the wall and was cleared by Bristol. United then regained possession through Martial, who was fouled with another free-kick being won by the Red Devils. Rashford took it again, got the deflection and the ball was heading into the back of the net but a save was made with United getting a corner.

Bristol had a chance to score in the 50th minute of the match with Bobby Reid hitting the side netting. Bristol scored in the 51st minute through Joe Bryan with a stunning strike across the goal and in off the far post. In the 57th minute, United won a free-kick after a foul. Ibrahimovic, Pogba, and Blind were all standing over the ball. The Swede fired his shot past the wall and the goalkeeper, levelling the score for United. Mourinho made his first change of the game in the 61st minute with Romelu Lukaku replacing Blind.

United made a second change in the 69th minute of the match with the goal scorer Ibrahimovic being replaced by Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the Swede giving the captains armband to Pogba. Rashford was booked in the 74th minute of the match after losing the ball the Bryan on the attack and chasing him down and committing a foul. United, through some good play, had a chance to get in front with Pogba passing into a rushing Lukaku, whose headed attempt was thwarted.

United had another chance in the 81st minute to find the winner with Pogba through on goal but losing the ball before he could shoot. Bristol had the chance to go ahead again, not able to get the better of United, who made it easy for them with poor defensive play. In the 83rd minute, Rashford had a shot on goal which was wide of the target. United had more chances, keeping the ball in the Bristol box with Mkhitaryan, Rashford, and Lukaku on the ball. The latter attempted a shot but the keeper got hold of the ball.

There were three minutes of stoppage time at the end of the second half. Paul Pogba was booked by the referee for back chat in the 89th minute of the match after he saw Lukaku fouled when advancing on the counter-attack. Bristol’s Matty Taylor was booked too. Bristol were attacking in the and scored in the dying seconds of the match through Korey Smith. United just did not have the defensive ability to deal with the Championship side in the dying minutes of the match. United are out of the Carabao Cup.

Goals: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 58′

Manchester United: Romero; Lindelof, Rojo, Blind (Lukaku 61′); Darmian, McTominay, Pogba, Shaw; Rashford, Martial; Ibrahimovic (Mkhitaryan 69′)

Substitutes Not Used: Pereira; Smalling; Mata, Lingard, Herrera

Bookings: Marcus Rashford 74”, Paul Pogba 89′

Confirmed Starting XI: Ibrahimovic starts unexpectedly; Pogba returns from suspension

Manchester United travel to Ashton Gate to take on Bristol City in the fifth round of the Carabao Cup this evening.United have turned a corner after losing the Manchester derby against Manchester City, beating both Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion in their next two league matches. United will need to keep on winning, keeping the momentum and hoping they can chase City during the remainder of the season, which could see them under pressure for the next 20 league matches. City beat Leicester City on penalties in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening with Arsenal beating West Ham United. Chelsea and Bournemouth will be pitted against each other tonight in the other match, which could see only Premier League teams in the semi-finals.

Manchester United:

Romero;

Lindelof, Rojo, Blind;

Darmian, McTominay, Pogba, Shaw;

Rashford, Martial;

Ibrahimovic

Substitutes:

Pereira; Smalling; Mata, Lingard, Herrera, Mkhitaryan; Lukaku

Manchester United and Bristol City have faced each other 35 times in the history of both clubs; the first match being played on the 21st September 1901 – a 1-0 victory for United in the old Football League Division Two. United have won 15 of the matches played, drawing ten and losing ten. It has been over 37 years since the two sides last played – a 4-0 victory for United on the 23rd February 1980 which saw a Bristol City own goal, a brace from Joe Jordan and a Sammy McIlroy goal seeing United take the points in the old top flight of football. The last defeat to Bristol City came over two years before the last game, a 3-1 defeat with Jimmy Greenhoff scoring United consolation goal in that game. United will be looking to extend their three-match unbeaten run against the Robins starting this evening.

Preview: Manchester United to shoot down the Robins in the Carabao Cup

Bristol City -v- Manchester United

Carabao Cup 2017/18

Ashton Gate, Bristol

Wednesday 20th December 2017; KO 20:00 GMT

Live on Sky Sports Football HD in the United Kingdom

Manchester United travel to Ashton Gate to take on Bristol City in the fifth round of the Carabao Cup this evening.United have turned a corner after losing the Manchester derby against Manchester City, beating both Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion in their next two league matches. United will need to keep on winning, keeping the momentum and hoping they can chase City during the remainder of the season, which could see them under pressure for the next 20 league matches. City beat Leicester City on penalties in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening with Arsenal beating West Ham United. Chelsea and Bournemouth will be pitted against each other tonight in the other match, which could see only Premier League teams in the semi-finals.

Jose Mourinho will be boosted with the return of Paul Pogba, who had sat out the last three domestic matches after being sent off in the victory over Arsenal at the start of the month. The Portuguese manager will most likely rest David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Nemanja Matic as there are three more Premier League matches after this game which will see the club end December, with another match playable on New Year’s Day. United’s festive period will be full of matches, meaning rotation will need to happen to keep the squad fit for their opposition. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is back in contention after sitting out of the last six matches, last making an appearance in the 1-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion last month.

Previous Matches: Manchester United have a good record against Bristol City, but with their giant-killing in the Carabao Cup, Mourinho’s side need to be wary!

Manchester United and Bristol City have faced each other 35 times in the history of both clubs; the first match being played on the 21st September 1901 – a 1-0 victory for United in the old Football League Division Two. United have won 15 of the matches played, drawing ten and losing ten. It has been over 37 years since the two sides last played – a 4-0 victory for United on the 23rd February 1980 which saw a Bristol City own goal, a brace from Joe Jordan and a Sammy McIlroy goal seeing United take the points in the old top flight of football. The last defeat to Bristol City came over two years before the last game, a 3-1 defeat with Jimmy Greenhoff scoring United consolation goal in that game. United will be looking to extend their three-match unbeaten run against the Robins starting this evening.

Form: They have not played for 37 years but Bristol City will be a big threat for Manchester United!

Manchester United have played 18 matches in the Premier League this season and currently sit in second place. United have won 13 times, drawn twice and lost three matches, earning 41 points, 11 points adrift of the league leaders, Manchester City. United have scored 39 goals and conceded just 12, meaning they have a goal difference of 27. In the Carabao Cup, United are in the fifth round and looking to defend the trophy they won last season. In the UEFA Champions League, United are into the round of 16 after winning five and losing one of the six group stage matches played. United will face Derby County in the Emirates FA Cup in January.

Bristol City have played 22 matches in the Championship this season and currently sit in third place – the play-off zone of the table. The Robins have won 12 matches, drawn seven and lost just three times in the league this season. Lee Johnson’s side have scored 36 league goals and conceded 23 – giving them a goal difference of 13. Bristol have won their last four league matches in a row. In the Carabao Cup, Bristol have beaten Plymouth Argyle, Watford, Stoke City and Crystal Palace – beating three Premier League teams – scoring 14 goals and conceding just three. The Robins will face Watford again this season in the Emirates FA Cup in January.

Team News: Manchester United on good shape heading into the busy festive period

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be in contention to face Bristol City in the Carabao Cup this evening after missing out for the last six matches in all competitions. The manager, speaking to the official Manchester United website, said:

“He [Mkhitaryan] can [be back]. I am making a few changes for the match, but not many because Bristol City are one of the best teams in the Championship.

“For me now, the Championship is not the Championship of five or 10 years ago. The Championship is now high-quality teams with lots of players that could be playing in the Premier League easily. So we need to take the game really seriously. I am going to make a few changes and it is possible Micki is involved.”

When asked about the Armenian sitting out the last few matches, the manager said:

“At the moment, we are playing [Juan] Mata, [Marcus] Rashford, [Jesse] Lingard or [Anthony] Martial and [Romelu] Lukaku. So, on the bench, we have [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic and one of the other ones, Martial or Rashford. So there is no space for everyone because you need balance on the bench too.”

Sergio Romero could be back in action with Mourinho seeking to rest David De Gea. Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Nemanja Matic could all be absent from the side as the Portuguese manager looks to keep his side fresh for the rest of the festive fixtures in this busy period. Paul Pogba is a boost as he will be eligible to play after his three-match suspension and Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe could both play a part, possibly even other youth players such as Tosin Kehinde, who has been training with the first team recently.

Predicted Starting XI: Anthony Martial to lead the line supported by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford…

Match Prediction: Manchester United to reign supreme at Ashton Gate?

Bristol City 1-3 Manchester United

How Manchester United could look in a 3-4-2-1 formation against Bristol City in the Carabao Cup

Manchester United will be pitted against Championship high-flyers Bristol City in the fifth round of the Carabao Cup at Ashton Gate this evening. Jose Mourinho will make a few changes to the side which beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at the Hawthorns in the Premier League on Sunday with Henrikh Mkhitaryan back in contention after missing the last six matches. United will be looking to join both Arsenal and Manchester City in the semi-final of the tournament, one which they are defending this season. Chelsea and Bournemouth are the other two sides in contention for a place in the semi-final, which could see only Premier League teams remaining in the competition.

Mourinho has tried different formations this season and the 3-4-2-1 (variation) could be something his side adopts in Bristol this evening. Paul Pogba is eligible again after serving a three-match domestic suspension after being sent off in the Premier League victory over Arsenal 18 days ago. United’s midfield has been lacking something with the prolific Frenchman on the sidelines and Mourinho, his teammates, and the supporters will be happy to see him return to the fold, especially after seeking him miss around two months of action already this season due to injury.

Starting XI Formation and Prediction (3-4-2-1):

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Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

The Argentinian goalkeeper has played four times for his club this season, playing 90 minutes three times. Sergio Romero has played in both Carabao Cup matches this season; the 4-1 victory over Burton Albion where he conceded the first goal at Old Trafford this season and was replaced by Joel Pereira (not related to conceding the goal) and the 2-0 victory over Swansea City in October. Romero has also played in two UEFA Champions League matches; the 1-0 defeat to Basel and the 2-1 victory over CSKA Moscow earlier this month. David De Gea, as good as he is this season, will benefit from the rest ahead of the busy festive fixtures which should see the Argentinian back in action against Bristol City.

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Back Three: Victor Lindelof, Axel Tuanzebe, Marcos Rojo

Manchester United have Eric Bailly out long-term as he requires surgery but that does not mean United will struggle in defence this season. Mourinho still has Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling and Daley Blind as the experienced defenders. Axel Tuanzebe is also a player who could be in contention whilst the Ivorian is on the sidelines. United will still need to defend against Bristol as the Championship side will be seeking a scalp of the Premier League side this evening. Lindelof and Rojo could be in contention with Tuanzebe playing with them in a three at the back formation. It could be enough for United to succeed at Ashton Gate and United should still have the balance on the bench.

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Midfield Four: Matteo Darmian, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Luke Shaw

This is the area United need to be much better in this season. Playing with wing-backs is fine, it is just the midfield where problems can arise. Paul Pogba has missed a lot of the season, sitting out around two months due to injury and being suspended for the last three domestic matches. Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini have been out due to injury; Carrick is fine but needs to be fit to play, which may or may not happen in the immediate future, because of that I have presumed he will not play this evening. Matteo Darmian and Luke Shaw could be restored to the flanks – Darmian may not be ideal but with Antonio Valencia coming off early against West Brom and Ashley Young suffering from fatigue, options are not something Mourinho has many of. Shaw should be restored because of the way he has played recently, putting in performances which seem to have changed the manager’s stance on the player – which may have been what he was doing anyway – the media printing BS to cause discontent. Pogba and Scott McTominay could partner each other in midfield, which would be beneficial for both United and McTominay.

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Attacking Midfield: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marcus Rashford

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has missed the last six matches in all competitions after ‘disappearing’ in recent matches. Mourinho has suggested that he could be in contention this evening and he did travel to Bristol. There are rumours about him in the media right now with Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund both said to be interested in signing the Armenian, but right now this is just rumour. Mkhitaryan should be given the chance to win his place back, which is something he could do against Bristol City this evening. His form at the start of the season was great, assisting five times and scoring twice in 17 appearances. Marcus Rashford could partner Mkhitaryan behind the striker with the likes of Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard being utilised recently. There will need to be some significant rotation at this period with United playing three more matches this month (after this one) with another on New Year’s Day.

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Striker: Anthony Martial

Romelu Lukaku has played a lot recently and would benefit from a night off ahead of the Premier League trio of matches against Leicester City, Burnley and Southampton before the end of the month – not to mention the New Year’s Day clash with former club Everton where Lukaku could go head-to-head with former United striker Wayne Rooney. Anthony Martial, a player who had occupied the left flank more often than not this season, could replace the Belgian. Martial prefers to play centrally but if fine playing as a wide-man, cutting in from the left which has seen him score eight goals, assisting six others in 25 appearances this season. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is also an option, but he has not featured for United since coming on in the 75th minute against Manchester City on the 10th December, being an unused substitute in the last two matches. As he has only played 61 minutes plus stoppage time this season, I don’t think he will be fit enough to start, let alone play more than half an hour at this moment in time.

copyright: JW