United in must-win tie in Europa League

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Manch­ester United need to get up and run­ning in the Europa League with vic­tory against Zo­rya Luhansk, says Jose Mour­inho.

United wel­come the Ukrainian side to Old Traf­ford to­day des­per­ately seek­ing their first points in Group A, the Red Devils hav­ing lost their opener 1-0 at Feyeno­ord on match­day one.

Many ex­pected Mour­inho to treat the Europa League as se­condary to their Premier League ex­ploits, but the United boss is fully fo­cused on pro­gress­ing in Europe as well.

"It's very im­por­tant," he told a news con­fer­ence. "To be hon­est I think we have to win.

"If we don't win, we have four matches [left in the group] and I would say we have to all the last four matches, which is dif­fi­cult. We need to win."

Mour­inho rested a num­ber of first-team stars for the open­ing game of the group at De Kuip, but he will change his ap­proach against Zo­rya, with Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic and An­thony Mar­tial both in­cluded. He added: "Zla­tan starts. "We have two matches and then he has two weeks with­out foot­ball. For him he just has to play to­mor­row and then against Stoke, then two weeks with­out foot­ball. Zla­tan is one of the play­ers who will have plenty of time to re­cover.

"He [Mar­tial] is now re­cov­ered from the con­tu­sion - not a con­cus­sion. He has re­cov­ered and he is ready."

United, though, will be with­out Luke Shaw and Hen­rikh Mkhi­taryan.

"Luke Shaw is ill. [He has a] tem­per­a­ture, fever, bad throat," said Mour­inho yesterday. "He ar­rived this morn­ing and the doc­tor sent him home.

Mour­inho was hop­ing to re­call the for­ward Wayne Rooney against Zo­rya Luhansk at Old Traf­ford, but may keep him un­der wraps to en­sure he is at full fit­ness when he makes his re­turn to avoid more neg­a­tive press.

"Rooney is se­lected. I didn't de­cide yet if I start with him," Mour­inho told a me­dia con­fer­ence yesterday.

"He didn't train yesterday, he did just a lit­tle bit of a ses­sion on Mon­day. He had a back prob­lem, so to­day was the first time he did any­thing with the other play­ers.

"I was com­pletely ex­pect­ing to use him to­mor­row, but I am not sure if I will do that. With his sit­u­a­tion I re­ally don't think he can have a per­for­mance which is not re­ally good.

In­ter have named their squad to face Sparta Prague in the Europa League tonight, with Marcelo Bro­zovic again ex­cluded.

The Ner­az­zurri are in a pre­car­i­ous po­si­tion in their group, hav­ing lost the opener to Hapoel Be’er Sheva at home, dur­ing which the Croa­t­ian in­ter­na­tional stormed off af­ter be­ing sub­sti­tuted.

Now Frank de Boer’s men face a trip to the Czech Repub­lic to face the side which knocked Lazio out of last year’s com­pe­ti­tion, though Sparta are com­ing off the back of a derby de­feat to Slavia Prague.

Bro­zovic hasn't fea­tured since the Be'er Sheva de­feat, and has once again been left out.

De Boer has named a 20-man squad for the match, as he can’t call sum­mer sign­ings Joao Mario and Gabriel Bar­bose due to Fi­nan­cial Fair Play re­stric­tions.

In other matches Roma play at home against As­tra Gi­urgiu and only a vc­tory is god for the Gial­lorossi.

Sas­suolo travel to Bel­gium to face Genk and Fiorentina face Qarabag at the Artemio Franchi Sta­dium.

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