Jose Mourinho prepares for his European debut as Manchester United manager as the Red Devils face a tricky away tie against Feyenoord.
Manchester United come into the game on the back of a rather humbling 2-1 defeat to arch-rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford, a fixture which they were favourites to win before the start of the game due to the absence of Sergio Aguero from the City squad.
Feyenoord, on the other hand, have made the best start possible to their Eredivisie campaign, securing the maximum points in each of their five games played thus far and sit at the top of the league. It promises to be an intriguing battle as we take a better look at the two teams.
Team News & Tactics
Feyenoord have a full squad available and it is their midfield trio that is sure to catch the attention of the travelling United supporters. Kuyt, Vilhena and Karim El Ahmadi are an explosive trio and would be tasked with the responsibility of being the creative outlet for the club.
The front three are known to ably fill their respective roles and are set to provide the United defence a stern test. Feyenoord would look to catch United out on counter-attacks, utilising their midfield potential.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Jones; Karsdorp, Kongolo, Botteghin, Woudenberg; Vilhena, El Ahmadi, Kuyt; Berghuis, Jorgensen, Toornstra
Jose Mourinho has already addressed the issue of Wayne Rooney being absent from the squad citing that he needs the United captain to rest and be fresh for the coming weekend. The Portuguese has announced that Marcus Rashford and Marcos Rojo are set to start for the team while it looks like Ander Herrera will also feature in the starting lineup.
Martial and Memphis did not feature in the Manchester derby and the duo could be in line to feature at some point of time in the match against Feyenoord. Jose Mourinho’s statement that he shall field a strong lineup is likely to reduce the possibility of seeing young Sam Johnstone in goal for the club.
Chris Smalling could be set for his first start of the season while Timothy Fosu-Mensah could be in line to start in defence.
Unlike the Manchester derby, the onus in this match is likely to be on the Red Devils and Mourinho may rely on the pace of his attacking lineup to threaten the Feyenoord defence.
Mourinho is likely to deploy the 4-2-3-1 formation despite receiving flak for using the same against City but it is certain that the Portuguese will make some tweaks to the tactics.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1) : Romero; Fosu-Mensah, Smalling, Bailly, Rojo; Carrick, Herrera; Martial, Pogba, Memphis; Rashford
United have won both games played between the clubs, with both the matches played as a part of the Champions League in the 1997-98 season.
Both games had at least 3 or more goals on each occasion.
Feyenoord have won all of their 5 matches thus far in the Eredevisie, conceding only 2 goals.
Dirk Kuyt has recorded 3 goals and 1 assist in the 5 matches played so far this season for Feyenoord.
Marcus Rashford had a return of 2 goals and an assist in 3 Europa League matches played last season and would be eager to repeat his European success.
Feyenoord 1-4 Manchester United
Marcus Rashford could be set for another impressive outing in the Europa League and the teenager is likely to provide United with the impetus to get a positive result at Rotterdam. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)
Dirk Kuyt is in sensational form and has been a bane for the Red Devils during the striker’s time at Liverpool. The Dutch international can be expected to score again but Manchester United’s attacking line-up would be eager to prove doubters wrong after their lackluster display in the derby defeat.
Marcus Rashford could be set for another starry European night in his yet fledgling career. The Hard Tackle feels the United star-power may just prove to be too much for the Eredivisie club and the Red Devils look set to start their Europa League campaign with a solid result away at Rotterdam.