Jose Mourinho hints at Manchester United team selection against Southampton

by Sam Peoples

Jose Mourinho has hinted that Wayne Rooney could start for Manchester United in the No.10 role due to the absence of Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

For the majority of the season Man United have played with two deeper midfielders and a No.10 and Mourinho has said Rooney is the obvious choice to play in that role if the formation is kept the same.

Alternatively, United could switch to playing one deeper midfielder with two in front of him but Mourinho is certainly thinking about starting Rooney on Sunday.

“I have to make a decision,” Mourinho said.

“You know that we normally play two different systems, if you want. Sometimes, we play with two midfield players and a no.10, if you want to call it. Sometimes, we play with a no.6 and two midfield players in front.

“Without Mkhitaryan, if we want to play with a no.10, obviously Wayne is this position. It’s where he was playing with us in many matches, so he is an option for me. A final is a special match and he’s an option for me.”

Mourinho also made it clear that sentiment would not have any impact on what team he wants to start

When asked whether sentiment would play any part in his team selection, the boss made it clear what his policy will be when it comes to naming his XI. That should be what every manager in football does, unfortunately some don’t (hello David Moyes) and if Mourinho is true to that then Rooney doesn’t get near United’s starting XI at the moment.

United are the favourites going into this final on Sunday but to write Southampton off would be doing them a disservice given how comfortably they dispatched Liverpool over two legs in the semi-final. We’re going to have to be on form because, well, this really is their cup final game.

Will Rooney start? I hope not but we’ll find out tomorrow afternoon when the team news is officially released an hour before the game kicks off.

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