Manchester United play their final game of this season’s Champions League group stage against CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford this evening.
There’s more chance of seeing Father Christmas than us being eliminated this evening, so Jose Mourinho has decided to rotate the team ahead of Sunday’s crucial derby, though has kept a few big names in.
CSKA Moscow themselves start the evening in third place, level on points with FC Basel, needing to better the Swiss champions’ result in order to progress to the knockout stage.
The two teams for this evening’s game are confirmed as:
Sergio Romero; Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind; Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Luke Shaw; Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku
Substitutes: Joel Pereira, Matteo Darmian, Axel Tuanzebe, Ashley Young, Scott McTominay, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial
Jose Mourinho confirmed on Wednesday that Sergio Romero would start this one. No surprised to see Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling continue building their centre-back partnership and we did predict earlier today that Daley Blind would be among the back three.
However, it does comes as a surprise not to see Antonio Valencia rested, especially with Matteo Darmian named on the bench. We correctly predicted Luke Shaw would start at left wingback, whilst Paul Pogba starts in central midfield as he is suspended domestically.
Juan Mata comes in for Jesse Lingard in the number 10 whilst Romelu Lukaku remains in the team and partners Marcus Rashford up front in a 3-4-1-2 formation. The Belgian striker could do with getting a goal or two before Manchester City come to town on Sunday.
Igor Akinfeev; Vitali Berezutskiy, Sergei Ignashevich, Viktor Vasin; Mario Fernandes, Konstantin Kuchayev, Aleksandr Golovin, Kirill Nababkin; Vitinho, Fyodor Chalov, Alan Dzagoev
The visitors will come out in a 3-4-3 formation. 19-year-old Fyodor Chalov is the striker flanked by Brazilian Vitinho and the once highly-rated Alan Dzagoev.
CSKA have had six different goalscorers in the Champions League so far this season, each with a single goal (they have also benefited from an own goal). Of those goalscorers only Vitinho, Dzagoev and Konstantin Kuchayev are in Viktor Goncharenko’s starting lineup this evening.