Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed his early plans for the final Champions League Group H game against Valencia on 12 December.
The Reds have already qualified for the last 16 of the competition after defeating Young Boys 1-0 in midweek, thanks to Marouane Fellaini's injury-time winner. Although Juventus could allow United an opportunity to climb into top spot if they do not win in Bern, there is the fact that our next fixture in the Premier League is a big one on the following weekend - away to Liverpool at Anfield.
For the boss, it seems like an ideal opportunity to play people who are deserving of some match time, as he outlined his current thinking to MUTV.
“It depends on the moment and on injuries and on players available for rotation,” he said.
“I would love to give an opportunity to play to some players that are not playing a lot.
”Immediately, the players that come into my eyes are the two young boys, Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay, because they have to play. We want them to play and they are not playing a lot and this is a great opportunity to start a match and play 90 minutes in the Champions League.
“For Andreas, it would be a special feeling for him to go back to Valencia and play there with United. These two boys deserve to play but there are others who deserve to play and need to play and, especially in December, the team needs a little bit of rotation. But if we have injuries, then we’ll be in a situation where the same players have to play.”
Andreas spent the entire 2017/18 campaign on loan to Valencia and played 29 times for the Spanish outfit. The 22-year-old has made five outings so far this season with United, the last one coming in the 2-2 draw against Chelsea on 20 October.
McTominay has managed four appearances in 2018/19, all in the Premier League, and was on the bench for the last match against Young Boys.
The manager is clearly keen to ensure the youngsters get another chance to impress and that now looks to be in the pipeline for the final Champions League group game at the Mestalla later this month.
The draw for the knockout stages takes place in Nyon, Switzerland, on Monday 17 December at 11:00 GMT.
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