Manchester United may play a heavily rotated side against Arsenal
Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger aren’t what you’d call friends. In fact, the two have a complicated past that would lead most to believe they actively dislike one another. Nonetheless, the Manchester United boss may do the Arsenal gaffer a massive favour when the two collide on Sunday.
Mourinho clearly has identified winning the Europa League as his club’s top priority moving forward. United will play Celta Vigo on Thursday in the first leg of the competition’s semifinal round. That scheduling curiosity could do wonders for Wenger’s future at Arsenal.
Arsenal will host United on Sunday in what is shaping up to be a pivotal clash in the race for the top four. It’s not an exaggeration to call the match a must-win for Wenger’s hopes of achieving Champions League qualification. Some might even say it’s a must-win if Wenger wants to return next season as the club’s manager.
At the very least, it’s a massive fixture for the Gunners. That’s why it’s such welcome news that Mourinho is already admitting he may be forced to play a heavily rotated side at The Emirates.
More from Manchester United
- Four forwards Manchester United might like to replace Cristiano Ronaldo
- Cristiano Ronaldo hits out at Manchester United
- Aston Villa vs. Man United: How Erik ten Hag can replace Bruno Fernandes
- Real Sociedad 0-1 Manchester United: Three talking points
- A few pointers to the Cristiano Ronaldo issue at Manchester United
It’s a pretty simple decision for The Special One. His troops will be fatigued after what should be a taxing Europa League fixture on Thursday. To force them back into a tense Premier League affair on Sunday would put them at risk of significant injury. It’s just not a gamble worth taking from Mourinho’s point of view.
Wenger certainly won’t ask the United boss to rethink that decision. He’s desperate to win the match no matter what. Arsenal aren’t in a position to look a gift horse in the mouth…even if the identity of that gift horse has been more commonly referred to as the horse’s other end by Wenger in the past.
The irony of this situation is pretty overwhelming. Jose Mourinho’s lineup decisions this weekend might give his old nemesis a lifeline. Come to think of it, don’t be surprised if Mourinho reverses course and drives to put the final coffin in Wenger’s grave. That would be more typical of his cutthroat managerial style.