Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United will be hoping for a positive result out in Russia tomorrow evening, when the Red Devils take on FC Rostov for the first time in their history. The game was never going to be easy, as at this stage of the competition all the opposition is tough.
However, it seems like our task has been made all the harder by the state of the pitch, and the self-proclaimed Special One is absolutely fuming. He’s expressed great displeasure towards it, and you really get the impression that he’d prefer the match to be called off.
He also went on discuss whether Henrikh Mkhitaryan will play, but to me, it sounds like Jose doesn’t want to risk him on that turf as he’s just come back from injury.
“It’s still hard for me to believe we are going to play tomorrow,” Mourinho is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror. “I know we have to, but it is hard for me to believe we are going to play tomorrow in that field – if you can call it a field.
“And I don’t know what team to play, really. I don’t know if Henrikh Mkhitaryan is going to play.”
“I don’t know. I have now a lot to think because I was expecting something more playable in a very similar pitch in the summer in China we and Manchester City decided not to play, but it looks like we have to play.”
“I didn’t have any contact with anyone until now [about the pitch].”
Honestly, it isn’t worth risking our Armenian star. He’s a top player on his day, and we’ve only just gotten him back from injury. It doesn’t make sense to play him on a pitch where he could aggravate another problem, particularly with Chelsea away in the FA Cup just on the horizon.
We have a deep squad at our disposal and these are the kind of fixtures where we should make best use of that. Perhaps give Jesse Lingard another start out on the right-hand side and let’s see what he can do.
Hopefully, we should still be able to grind out a result, albeit our opponents will be used to playing on this turf by now and they’ll have a slight advantage in that regard.