Celta Vigo vs Manchester United: Three players who must start

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho will be forced to choose from slim pickings ahead of the first leg of Manchester United’s Europa League semi-final clash with Celta Vigo after suffering yet another injury set-back over the weekend.

Both Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw were forced off during the 1-1 draw with Swansea on Sunday: the Ivorian is a heavy doubt for the game, whilst Shaw has been ruled out for the season.

The 54-year-old will also be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Timothy Fosu-Mensah for the trip to Galicia.

With that in mind, here are three players that Mourinho must start from his limited options against Celta.

Paul Pogba

Man United sorely missed the Frenchman’s fluidity and innovation in midfield during unattractive performances against Manchester City and Swansea. Pogba, in spite of the criticism he takes from the media, makes Mourinho’s midfield tick and he should be the first name on the Portuguese’s team-sheet on Thursday.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

The Armenian has scored in all of United’s last four away games in Europe and Mourinho will be praying the Armenian, rested against Swansea with this game in mind, can deliver once again as the visitors search for what could be a crucial away goal in Spain.

Antonio Valencia

United’s back four promises to have a scarily makeshift semblance on Thursday night, with either Matteo Darmian, Michael Carrick or Axel Tuanzebe set to replace Bailly, and Mourinho will need to count on Valencia, his most reliable defender this season, to maintain his usual level of power and commitment against a Celta side known for their ferocious energy.

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