Jose Mourinho reveals plan to involve eight youngsters in Man Utd vs Palace
Mourinho is set to field a much-changed team for United’s final Premier League game of the season, with the Portuguese seeking to rest his senior stars for the Europa League final against Ajax, which takes place three days later.
Goalkeepers Joel Pereira and Kieran O’Hara are set to be included in the squad, along with Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Axel Tuanzebe and Scott McTominay, who have already featured for the first-team.
Demetri Mitchell, who can play at left-back or as a left-winger, will also be involved, with midielder Josh Harrop being rewarded for scoring a hat-trick for United’s U23 side against Tottenham Hotspur. Another midfielder, 16-year-old Angel Gomes, could also make his senior debut.
Mourinho listed eight academy graduates who will be involved on Sunday: “Joel [Pereira] and O’Hara, Mitchell, Harrop, Gomes, McTominay, Fosu-Mensah and Axel [Tuanzebe]. Lots of them together, no. I will bring three or four first team players to play one half where I can give some experience to the team.”
Asked if they are ready, Mourinho answered: “No. One in the middle of a good structure, a dynamic and experienced structure, yes. Lots of them together, no.”
Pogba back vs Palace
“Paul [Pogba] is fine,” said Mourinho during Friday’s press conference.
“Strong guy, strong mentality. He is learning how to live after his father passed away but he is strong and he knows he needs to play next Sunday because he doesn’t play, train for a long time and he needs these minutes on the pitch. He plays against Palace.”
Fellaini is United’s only question mark
Mourinho continued to rule Chris Smalling out of Sunday’s game, but not the final, while Marouane Fellaini will undergo a late fitness test.
The United boss added: “Chris Smalling has a small problem, but not a problem for next week. Marouane [Fellaini] is the question mark. We wait for today’s scans. His feelings are not bad but let’s wait. Timothy Fosu-Mensah plays Sunday and if the reaction is good, and if he manages to play without problems he is a new option for us for the final.”