Manchester United had an open training session for the media at Carrington on Tuesday morning and after a group of ten players trained on their own, journalists have speculated it could be Jose Mourinho’s starting XI against St. Etienne on Wednesday.
Here are the ten players who trained as a group: Young, Smalling, Rojo, Darmian, Carrick, Rooney, Lingard, Mkhitaryan, Martial and Rashford.
As some of you may notice, every single one of those players started in the 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers and only Ander Herrera is missing due to suspension (presumably he’s been given a day off by Mourinho). The addition of Wayne Rooney following his absence in the last few games due to injury is the only other change.
On the one hand, this could well be Mourinho’s starting XI to face St. Etienne. There’s enough experience and quality in there to go to St. Etienne and come away having qualified for the next round for sure – the last thing Mourinho will do is field a hugely weakened side as he won’t let complacency creep in.
On the flip side, this training group may simply be a recovery session for those players who started against Blackburn. When it comes to Rooney, I would be surprised to see him play against St. Etienne after Mourinho labelled him as a doubt due to the injury which has kept him out for a few weeks.
I’d be happy enough if that team did start against St. Etienne to be honest but we’ll have a bit more confirmation when the travelling squad is revealed and after Mourinho’s press conference this evening.