Manchester United will hope to seal their qualification into the final four stages of the UEFA Europa League, when they take on RSC Anderlecht at Old Trafford in the second-leg of their quarter-finals tie.
The Red Devils played out a very frustrating 1-1 draw back in Brussels in the first leg. Having taken the lead through Henrikh Mkhitaryan, United controlled the game to large extents, only to concede a late equalizer in the 87th minute from Leander Dendoncker. They will be hoping to take their chances at home on Thursday and avoid a similar fate. United come into the game on the back of a fine 2-0 win against Chelsea on Sunday and the morale will be extremely high after the performance.
Jose Mourinho will continue to be deprived of the services of defensive duo Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, who are expected to be fit only by May. Juan Mata has categorically been ruled out of the season after he underwent a groin surgery earlier this month. Wayne Rooney has returned to training and may feature on the bench.
Here is how United could line up on Thursday night:
Probable Manchester United Line-Up
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Sergio Romero (GK)
Has been the preferred option in goal for the cup competitions. Expect it to stay the same for the Thursday’s encounter.
Antonio Valencia (RB)
One of the most consistent performers for United this season, his place in the playing XI at right-back is an absolute certainty.
Eric Bailly (CB)
The Ivorian has been exceptional in recent weeks and put in a fine display against Chelsea over the weekend. His presence brings a sense of assurance to the backline.
Marcos Rojo (CB)
Has forged an excellent partnership with Bailly. His aggressive approach adds a tenacity to the United defence. And with Jones and Smalling unavailable, he is set to keep his place in the line-up.
Matteo Darmian (LB)
Put in one of his finest displays of the season against Chelsea. Should be rewarded with a start on the left-side of the defence for the Europa League clash.
Michael Carrick (CM)
United are expected to boss the possession and control the game against Anderlecht. And if they are to do so effectively, they’ll need the calming influence of Carrick in the middle of the park.
Ander Herrera (CM)
Was excellent over the weekend, both in defence and attack. He will be hoping to put in a similar performance to see his team through to the semifinals.
Jesse Lingard (RW)
He might not be scoring heavily or creating a lot, but his movement off the ball and direct running has been posing plenty of problems for the opposition defences. Should keep his place in the starting XI.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (CAM)
The goal-scorer for United from the first-leg. His presence on the pitch will be vital as he has the ability to open up defences at ease and can score himself too.
Marcus Rashford (LW)
Has scored in his last two league games. Looks to have hit a good patch and his confidence is on the rise. Should start on the left-flank on Thursday.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (ST)
Was benched for the weekend encounter against Chelsea. But he should be in line for a return to the playing XI for a clash of this magnitude.