Manchester United extended their winning streak to seven games by defeating West Ham 2-0 on Monday. They now turn their attention to Reading in the FA Cup third round this weekend, and I expect Mourinho to make some serious changes to the squad.
Here is a look at the possible lineup.
GK- Sergio Romero
De Gea is still the main goalkeeper for Manchester United, but Romero has done well in limited playing time this season, and the early rounds of the FA Cup are often a chance for the backup goalkeepers to shine. I expect Romero to get a start in goal for this game.
LB- Luke Shaw
Shaw returned to training this week after missing several weeks due to injury. This game could be a good chance to try to get Shaw some match fitness
CB- Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo
Rojo and Jones seems to be the center back pairing of choice for Jose Mourinho for the time being, but this game could be a good opportunity to give Chris Smalling a chance to start. Smalling has not played as well as he is capable of this season, but maybe a game against Reading can help him find his form.
RB- Timothy Fosu-Mensah
Fosu-Mensah has been mostly forgotten about this season for Manchester United, but he is still a very talented prospect who has a bright career ahead of him. Starting him in this game could be good for his development, as it will give him some vital first team experience.
CM- Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba
Pogba and Herrera are both vital to Manchester United’s success, and they are both young enough where they should not need to be rested for this match. However, I think Michael Carrick will move to the bench for this game to make way for Marouane Fellaini. Carrick has been sick and could possibly use a rest, and it is important to keep Fellaini involved in the squad.
AML- Anthony Martial
I believe that Martial is a better option at this position than Rooney or Lingard, and I think Mourinho needs to start giving him more consistent playing time. Martial scored a goal against Middlesbrough the last time he played, so hopefully he can put together another good performance this weekend to give him some confidence.
AMR- Juan Mata
Mata came on as a sub and scored a goal for Manchester United in their win over West Ham, and I think Mata deserves the chance to start against Reading on Saturday. Manchester United will likely dominate possession in this match, and Mata could be helpful in breaking down Reading’s defense.
ST- Marcus Rashford
Zlatan has been tremendous this season, but it is important for Jose Mourinho not to ignore the development of his young star, Marcus Rashford. Rashford has not had many opportunities to start at striker this season due to Zlatan’s stellar form, but this game should be an opportunity for Mourinho to see what Rashford can do at his best position.