‘Difference in quality’ concerns Jose ahead of Palace clash

Date published: Friday 19th May 2017 2:17

Jose Mourinho has admitted he is concerned about throwing in several youngsters against Crystal Palace on Sunday, but believes he has no choice.

Manchester United will field one of the weakest sides in their recent history in the Premier League finale against Palace with all eyes on next Wednesday’s Europa League final with Ajax.

Mourinho did confirm Paul Pogba will feature alongside a number of youngsters at Old Trafford.

Mourinho confirmed Joel Pereira, Kieran O’Hara, Scott McTominay, Josh Harrop, Matthew Willock and Zachary Dearnley will be involved on Sunday, so too 16-year-old Angel Gomes.

“We will have Mitchell, Harrop, Gomes and McTominay,” said Mourinho. “I will bring three or four of the first teamers to play one half each on Sunday.

“The only positive is to save my players and give them the best possible conditions to be ready for Wednesday.

“It will be a good occasion for the kids but I repeat the best conditions for a debut is being surrounded by a strong structure.

“I don’t think it’s good that there is a such a big difference in quality and strength between the kids and Crystal Palace.

“Of course I spoke with Nicky (Butt) and his opinion is important. I’ve been at every game they’ve played at Old Trafford, I know them.

“I prefer to hand debuts to only one young player at a time, that helps them as they come into a strong structure.

“We have tried to bring the guys who are more adapted to playing at this level at the moment.”

Tim Fosu-Mensah will play after a shoulder injury and Pogba will feature after missing the previous two matches following his father’s death.

Marouane Fellaini is having a hamstring injury assessed, while Chris Smalling is set to be fit for Wednesday’s Europa League final despite a “small problem” keeping him out against Palace.

“Marouane Fellaini is the big question mark, and we wait for today’s scan. We decided not to do it yesterday.
He is feeling not bad, but lets’s wait and see.

“Tim Fosu-Mensah plays Sunday and if the reaction is good and if he manages to play the game without problems, then he’s an option for us for the final,” added Mourinho.

Numerous first-team players will be rested ahead of the Ajax match, with captain Wayne Rooney set to be among them after playing 90 minutes at Southampton on Wednesday.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is missing with a serious knee problem will attend the final in Stockholm, along with Marcos Rojo (both knee), Luke Shaw (foot) and Ashley Young (hamstring) are out.

“Everybody goes. We have a few on crutches,” said Mourinho, when asked who was attending the final.

“Fantastic group, fantastic spirit.”

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