Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Match preview: Zorya v United

United need a point to progress to the last 32 and have named a strong travelling squad for the trip to Odessa.

Wayne Rooney is back in the squad after missing Everton through suspension, with Eric Bailly also included as he steps up his recovery from injury.
Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw remain sidelined while Michael Carrick is rested, with Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Memphis and Morgan Schneiderlin also left at home with one eye on Sunday's home league match with Spurs. 

Tim Fosu-Mensah looks set to come in at right-back with United on the brink of a place in the knockout stages. 

Yuriy Vernydub's out of form Zorya are already out and the Reds - looking to end a run of eight consecutive European away losses - can still win the group should we better the result of Group A leaders Fenerbahce, who travel to third-placed Feyenoord. 

We've won all three of our home games, including a 1-0 win in this reverse fixture courtesy of Zlatan back in September, but have endured two disappointing losses on the road in Europe so far. 

The hosts were forced to leave their war-torn region in 2014 and have since been plying their trade 300 miles away in Zaporizhia but that stadium doesn't meet UEFA requirements.
All home European ties are played even further afield in Odessa, a round trip of just short of 1,300 miles. 

Jose re-iterated his desire in going all the way in Europa, and said: 
"If we lose then we can be out, and I have said from the start that this is very important competition for us, the first step for us is to qualify from a very difficult group.
"We want to try to win it and all time time we are in it we will try and do that, we want to go as far as possible. 
"Zorya are out but they have a big match to play and I believe they will try to win so this is a crucial match and we have to play with a good mentality. "

Should we progress, we will discover our fate when the draw for the last 32 is made on Monday.

Travelling squad: De Gea, Romero, Johnstone, Fosu-Mensah, Jones, Bailly, Rojo, Blind, Young, Fellaini, Herrera, Pogba, Lingard, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial, Rooney, Rashford, Ibrahimovic. 

Form guide: Zorya D D L L D L United W D W D W D 
Match odds: Zorya 8/1 Draw 4/1 United 1/3
Referee: Tamas Bognar (Hungary) 

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