Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Joel Pereira, Kieran O’Hara, Demetri Mitchell, Josh Harrop, Angel Gomes, Scott McTominay, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Axel Tuanzebe will all feature against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The Portuguese recently noted that, with the Europa League final coming just three days after the clash with Palace, he would have to field a side consisting primarily of Under 23 players.
Mourinho, speaking after his side’s 0-0 draw with Southampton, listed a number of youngsters that would receive a place in the match-day squad.
Speaking today, he noted that Angel Gomes, Kieran O’Hara and Timothy Fosu-Mensah would also play a part against Sam Allardyce’s side alongside the previously mentioned group of youngsters.
“Joel and O’Hara. Mitchell. Harrop. Gomes. McTominay. Fosu-Mensah. Axel [in the squad],” he said. “Lots of them together, no. I will bring three or four first team players to play one half where I can give some experience to the team.”
“For the kids it will be a great experience to play in the Premier League in the last match of the season. It will be a big occasion but I think the best for the young player is in the middle of an experienced structure, where he can be supported.
“To play so many kids at the same time I don’t think it’s good because there is a big difference in quality strength and experience.”
I honestly cannot recall a game at Old Trafford that compares to what supporters will witness on Sunday. This is a radical – whilst also highly pragmatic – call from Mourinho, and the watching world will take great interest in how the class of tomorrow fare against the doggedness of Allardyce’s Palace side.
Most enticing, perhaps, is how Angel Gomes, not mentioned in Mourinho’s original provisional line-up on Wednesday, will fare at Old Trafford.
The Englishman, aged just 16, became the youngest player to win the Youth Team Player of the Year award on Thursday night following a campaign hallmarked by a series of tantalisingly unstoppable, skilful displays against bewildered opponents. Supporters will be incredibly keen to see how the youngster fares on the big stage.