Manchester United salvaged a draw against Stoke City over the weekend thanks to a late equalizer from Wayne Rooney in stoppage time, but Jose Mourinho will certainly be looking for a better performance from his team when they face Hull City in the League Cup semi-final on Thursday.
Manchester United won the first leg of the League Cup semi-final 2-0 at home, so they are in a good position to advance to the League Cup Final barring a major upset.
However, Jose Mourinho will still want to put out a strong team, as this competition may be the club’s best opportunity to win silverware this season.
With all that in mind, here is a look at the possible lineup.
GK- David de Gea
De Gea is clearly Jose Mourinho’s preferred option at goalkeeper this season, as he has still started every league game this year for the club. This is an important game, so de Gea will almost certainly get the starting nod.
LB- Matteo Darmian
Darmian and Daley Blind have both seen a good amount of playing time at this position, and Luke Shaw could also be in the mix for playing time if he ever becomes fully fit. Blind started, but was poor against Stoke on Saturday, so I think Darmian will get another chance to start.
CB- Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones
Rojo has returned to training after missing the game against Stoke City, and if he is fit I expect him to start against Hull City. Rojo and Jones have played very well together this season, and they both deserve to start over the struggling Chris Smalling.
RB- Antonio Valencia
Valencia has been a consistent starter for Jose Mourinho all season, and there is no reason for him to be benched for a Cup semi-final.
CM- Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, and Ander Herrera
Pogba and Herrera should be locks to start this game, as they have been two of the team’s best players this season. Fellaini or Carrick will likely fill out the final central midfield spot, but I think the nod will go to Fellaini since he has been in decent form the last few games.
AML- Wayne Rooney
Rooney was the hero for Manchester United in the game against Stoke City on Saturday, and he broke the club’s goal scoring record in the process. Mourinho has rotated through various players at this position all season long, and Rooney’s strong performance on Saturday might be enough to earn him a start on Thursday.
AMR- Jesse Lingard
Henrikh Mkhitaryan did not put together a great performance against Stoke on Saturday, while Jesse Lingard came off the bench and played fairly well. I think Mourinho will reward Lingard with a start against Hull City.
ST- Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan has been on an incredible run of form since early November, and he is clearly Mourinho’s best option at striker. I could see him being subbed off for Marcus Rashford if Manchester United grab an early lead, but I fully expect Ibrahimovic to be in the starting XI.