Mourinho set to drop Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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Jose Mourinho has plenty of decisions to make after Wednesday’s League Cup success against Manchester City as they go in search of three points in the Premier League.

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After a Manchester derby victory over neighbours City on Wednesday, Manchester United’s players should have a spring in their step come Saturday when they face Burnley at Old Trafford. But having gone through a difficult period which has seen them pick up two points from their last three Premier League games, Jose Mourinho will be keen for his side to retain the momentum of their EFL Cup win.

That is unlikely to stop him ringing the changes as he looks to protect some of his more fragile players from burning out, and as such the status of Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be a huge question mark going into the weekend clash.

The Swede has only once played three games in a week for United before now, and that came in the run-up to the last international break. Mourinho insisted then that Ibrahimovic did not need to be wrapped in cotton wool given the natural rest which was coming up, but this time around he may opt to give Marcus Rashford the start up front to give the 35-year-old some much-needed breathing space.

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While Chris Smalling and Wayne Rooney should both be available for selection again after injuries, the club captain could again miss out on a starting shirt. Rooney may well be held back to play a bigger role in the trip to Fenerbahce next Thursday instead of pushing him into the XI after recovering from a muscle injury.

Meanwhile, Juan Mata could switch to a more central role once more after scoring the winner as a right-sided attacker on Wednesday, with Paul Pogba returning to a slightly more withdrawn starting position in light of the likelihood that Burnley will arrive in M16 with the intention to defend first and attack later.

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As for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who can say when Jose will finally feel the urge to give him a nod?!

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