Peace with Pogba needed for Mourinho to shirk familiar criticism

Lawrence Cooper
February 22, 2018

United have been boosted heavily by the return of the quartet of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford, all of whom missed out of the FA Cup win over Huddersfield.

Much has been made of how Mourinho sets-up in midfield but I think we could see him play with three in the middle - especially when United aren't in possession - with Jesse Lingard dropping a little deeper alongside Pogba and Matic sitting in front of the defence.

"We always want to play against the best teams and this is why we like this competition".

Manchester United have not scored more than one goal in each of their last 14 Champions League encounters against Spanish opposition and have managed just seven goals in total.

"I think this squad is more in the middle of it".

Goalkeeper Sergio Rico has had a timely return to form, former Manchester City winger Jesus Navas is playing at right-back - that's right, right-back - and the two centre-backs - Gabriel Mercado and Clement Lenglet - are pacey and are happy to play a high line, something they may have to do against Manchester United.

Montello was also full of praise for Paul Pogba who he described as "a complete player" and said he hopes he [Pogba] doesn't play. "I remember him really well from his stay in Italy [at Udinese]".

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Bubba Watson says he was contemplating retirement. "My goal has always been to get 10 wins and this got me to my 10th win". Durant shot a 5-under 67 for a four-stroke win over Stricker, David Toms, Lee Janzen, Billy Mayfair, and Tim Petrovic.

"(It) means you have to defend well, have the physical conditions to go to the other box, where you have to be good at scoring, creating, heading and then, when your team loses the ball, you have to go to the other box", said Mourinho.

'And you can see the combinations between them.

Meanwhile, Vincenzo Montella could hardly contain himself at the prospect of coaching again in the Champions League. It progressed into the last four stages of the tournament on the back of a 6-5 aggregate score against Bilbao after losing 5-3 in the first leg.

Shakhtar, the only club from the eastern Europe in the Champions League knockout stage, will host Roma at the 40,000-seat Metalist Kharkiv stadium.

Shakhtar's Portuguese manager Paulo Fonseca, who replaced Romanian Mircea Lucescu at the helm in 2016, said he was pleased to avoid "such great clubs as Barcelona and PSG" in the last 16.

All told, though, this is a side that United should easily overcome if they play well. This tie - against a inconsistent team that has had plenty of problems this season - provides the ideal opportunity to improve it.

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