Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is all set to name his strongest possible squad when his side take on Ajax in the Europa League final next week.
The Red Devils boss has regularly complained over the club’s fixture congestion this term with the club falling short of a top-four position for a second season running.
When the season first began, many expected United to compete for the Premier League crown after having spent fees in excess of £150m on the likes of Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
However, the club have since struggled to make the most of their Premier League games with 11 draws in a 25-game unbeaten league run doing no favours in their quest for a top-four finish.
Winning the Europa League this season guarantees a straight route to the Champions League group stages next term, and Mourinho appears to have put all eggs in one basket with the club’s season wholly dependent on their night in Stockholm.
The EFL Cup triumph could be considered as a sign of success, but the biggers teams have most often ignored the competition in order to concerntrate on the famous old FA Cup trophy.
Mourinho’s team scrapped through with a hard-fought 3-2 victory against Anderlecht in the quarter-final stage of the Europa League while they had to fight even harder versus Celta Vigo in the semi-final, with a late lapse from John Guidetti earning United a 2-1 win.
Ajax are unlikely to be pushovers in the final in Stockholm with club captain Davy Klaassen and his young squad vying for their first continental silverware in 22 years.
As a result, The Special One looks well prepared by opting to rest a whole lot of first-team players for the clash against Crystal Palace in the final game of the league campaign.
Image – EPA