Jose Mourinho has reiterated his promise to make a host of changes when Manchester United welcome Crystal Palace to Old Trafford next week, after his team made it to the Europa League Final last night.
Having struggled to break into the top four all season long, the Portuguese decided to give up on automatic domestic qualification for the Champions League a few weeks ago, concentrating instead on making it there by winning the Europa League; a choice which has generated a large amount of scrutiny in the press ever since.
After resting a large number of players for United’s trip to Arsenal last Sunday, Jose’s men squeaked through at home to Celta Vigo last night by a single aggregate goal, surviving a late scare when former Manchester City striker John Guidetti missed an open goal for the visitors with what was literally the last kick of the game.
With Big Sam and his players still in need of results to ensure their Premier League safety, Mourinho’s post-match comments will have felt like a gift from above. Of course, should we manage to avoid defeat against Hull this Sunday, United’s team selection won’t matter but to hear Jose referencing and enforcing his previous comments about resting players with next to no encouragement from the interviewer is music to my ears ahead of a potentially nerve-shredding ten days.
From the tone of his words, it feels as though the Reds supremo is willing to risk a potential fine from the FA over his team selection, leading me to assume that it could be a significantly weaker line-up than the one that turned out against Arsenal at The Emirates last week. Regardless of our potential safety, it should be remembered that Manchester United are now the only current resident of the Premier League who Palace haven’t recorded a victory over since the league’s formation in 1992. Food for thought for everyone of a red and blue persuasion ahead of next weekend.