Manchester United return to European action tonight as they face Anderlecht in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. They travel to Constant Vanden Stock Stadium with the return leg set to take place next Thursday at Old Trafford. Anderlecht drew in their league game against Gent this past weekend and will look to Polish striker Lukasz Teodorczyk for their goals and the talents of 19-year-old Midfielder Youri Tielemans, who is hot property right now.
United are without as many as seven players including Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Juan Mata and Captain Wayne Rooney who all look doubtful for the trip to Brussels. The other two who missed the Sunderland game on Sunday are Antonio Valencia and David de Gea, although both are expected to be fit in time for Thursday night’s clash.
Here is the expected lineup to face Anderlecht.
Sergio Romero is expected to keep his place in the starting eleven after keeping his ninth clean sheet of the season at the Stadium of Light on Sunday. He also has been a regular for Manchester United in the Europa League this season, starting every game so far.
In defence, the in-form Antonio Valencia is expected to be fit in time for the clash and will take his place in the right-back position. Daley Blind will start in the left back berth as he came off the bench in the win over Sunderland. The centre of defence will be taken up by the ever dependable Eric Bailly. He will be partnered by Argentine defender Marcos Rojo. The pair looked cohesive and were composed on the ball on Sunday and will look to continue their good form.
In midfield, Michael Carrick is expected to line-up alongside Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba. The Englishman was rested on Sunday and Mourinho will look to Carrick to hold and distribute the ball effectively as he has done for most of the season. Herrera has established himself in the midfield along with the world’s most expensive signing Paul Pogba this season. Jose Mourinho prefers a three-man midfield with two either side of Carrick to also help out in defence.
In Attack, Zlatan Ibrahimović looks set to keep his place and United will expect a crucial away goal from their main man. The Swede has five goals in the Europa League including a hat-trick to his name. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is expected to start the game on the right. Anthony Martial will resume his duties in the wide role after getting only a measly 13 minutes off the bench at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.