Jose Mourinho has confirmed that he will pick a starting XI to play 60 minutes against Manchester City on Thursday night.
The Portuguese has witnessed an encouraging start to his side’s pre-season tour of the United States, steamrolling past LA Galaxy before seeing Romelu Lukaku claim his first goal in a win over Real Salt Lake City.
He used two separate teams in both clashes, making 11 substitutions at half time as he looks to build his squad’s fitness ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.
And the 54-year-old has confirmed that he will pick a starting XI to complete 60 minutes against Pep Guardiola’s men in Houston.
“I will try to go for 60/30 and some players can play 60 minutes against Manchester City and then they will play 30 minutes against Real Madrid and vice versa,” the United manager told MUTV.
“I will try the same, I will try to give minutes to everybody because it’s an important thing.
“The tactical work we do in training, behind the closed doors, then we go to the matches and of course we try to do the things we have done in training. But it’s very important for everybody to compete and we are going to try to do that.”
The first two pre-season games of this summer, played against substandard and indeed weakened MLS sides, were essentially looseners – to get the feel for football once again, above anything.
Now, however, with Man City, Barcelona and Real Madrid on the horizon, Mourinho will start to look a bit more closely at his side’s shape and attacking approach. Who looks out of sorts? Who looks like they’re trying to give something extra?
These are the questions Mourinho will start to ask himself over the next week or so. Pre-season may be meaningless to most supporters, but for the Portuguese the next few weeks are everything.