It might be a symptom of Mourinho’s lack of interest in the Europa League, but it’s impossible to know which United is going to show up in this competition. Will it be the dominant team that swept past Fenerbahce at Old Trafford, or the side that surrendered dismally in Istanbul a fortnight later?
There may be cause for optimism though: United haven’t been getting the results they need, but they haven’t been playing badly in the Premier League of late. They thrashed Swansea before the internationals, and did enough to win easily against Burnley before that.
Things may now be clicking into place.
The Red Devils have had to do without a few players this season, and there was talk of a new spate of injuries over the international break. But the fans can rest easy, as Valencia looks to be on his way back, and Rooney is a dead-cert to play a part on Thursday.
Ibrahimović should also be in the lineup against Feyenoord, and may be all the better for his day off through suspension against Arsenal on the weekend.
Gamble on Pogba?
United’s record signing is as central to France’s hopes as he is to United. But there’s a danger he’s playing too much football right now.
Pogba has started almost every game for United since joining, including Europa League, and hasn’t missed a match for France. The midfielder is finding some rhythm, and if he gets the nod against Feyenoord, United will of course have a stronger chance of winning.
But Mourinho may decide to let him rest up for tougher challenges ahead.
Tipped for a Slip
After flying out of the traps this season, winning their first nine Eredivisie games, Feyenoord have lost their way recently. Van Bronckhorst’s side haven’t won any of their last three games.
And all three of these were straightforward matches: Feyenoord were held at home by Heerenveen, drew at Zorya in the Europa League and then slumped to defeat at Go Ahead Eagles who had been bottom of the table.
This downturn had been forecast for some time in the Netherlands, where pundits and analysts felt they had been overachieving.
So if ever there was a time to play Thursday’s visitors, it’s right now. The situation is a far cry from September when United travelled to a lively de Kuip to face a team playing without fear.
Hated rivals Ajax are on fire and hot on Feyenoord’s heels. So there’s a possibility that van Bronckhorst might look at the final group game at home to Fenerbahce as an easier source of points.
More Bad News
The left-back Terence Kongolo has been key to Feyenoord’s special start, but picked up a hamstring injury in the match against Go Ahead Eagles. He had played his way into the Netherlands squad and was tipped to play against Belgium last week, but will now be out until the new year.
Kongolo had built a good relationship with new signing Arie van der Heijden, who is known to be prone to the odd mistake. Van der Heijden was responsible for Go Ahead’s goal when he dribbled into trouble, and Mourinho may see the centre-half as a weak point in the Feyenoord defence.
If you’re a United fan and want to do some scouting you can watch Feyenoord’s match against PEC Zwolle this weekend for free.
Manchester United vs Feyenoord Match Prediction
With the home team coming together nicely, and the away side faltering, we expect United to take revenge for their defeat in Rotterdam in September.
We’re confident because the injuries that have plagued Mourinho’s side recently are starting to clear up, so even if the boss decides to rotate he can still call on some players who should be too strong for Feyenoord.