Jose Mourinho confirms seven Manchester United players to start against Watford

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Michael Carrick, Sergio Romero, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Daley Blind, Eric Bailly and Juan Mata will all start against Watford on Sunday.

The Portuguese made eight changes to the side which floundered against Brighton and Hove Albion for the 0-0 draw with West Ham United on Thursday.

Luke Shaw, Scott McTominay and Phil Jones all received run-outs, while Martial and Rashford were dropped to the bench as David de Gea secured the ‘Golden Glove’ with his 18th clean sheet of the campaign.

Speaking after the game, Mourinho noted that he would once again make a series of wholesale changes on the final day of the Premier League season, with Michael Carrick starting his last Manchester United game as captain.

“Romero plays on Sunday because he deserves that and some other players are going to play because we as a team achieve the second position and we, as a team, are going to play the FA Cup final,” he said.

“It is normal that Michael Carrick is captain at Old Trafford for the last game of his career. David De Gea will be rested, so it gives a chance for Sergio Romero to play. I can make changes.

“Marcus and Anthony played against Brighton. Today it was for Alexis and [Jesse] Lingard to play and Sunday is again for Martial and Rashford. I also play [Daley] Blind, [Eric] Bailly and [Juan] Mata. I have every player apart from [Marouane] Fellaini and [Romelu] Lukaku available.

“Carrick is going to start the match as captain but he is not going to end the match because I want him to leave that pitch alone. I want him to feel what the Manchester United supporters feel in relation to him.

“I’m not as sad as I normally am when my players end their careers because he is going to be with us and even closer to me than he was as a player. So it’s just an emotional moment. He’ll start the match and I’ll make the change in some moments so he can leave the pitch alone.”

The boss has been able to play around with his squad ever since the 2-1 win over Arsenal guaranteed Champions League football for next season, giving rise to a disjointed feel to Man United’s performances.

Many may have expected Mourinho to field his strongest team in every game leading up to the FA Cup final with Chelsea as a means of continuity, but he appears to be diplomatically handing every player a chance with no pressure in the league anymore, while keeping important members of the squad fresh yet still match ready by sporadically calling on their services.

Latest Top Stories...