Manchester United open their Europa League campaign on Thursday night with a potential banana skin fixture as they travel to face Feyenoord at the De Kuip Stadium in Rotterdam.

Jose Mourinho’s men are coming off a disappointing 2-1 defeat to cross-town rivals City on Saturday and the Portuguese trainer will be keen for his cohort to bounce back immediately.

The Europa League is almost a distraction rather than an opportunity for the Old Trafford side, who will be keen to put forward a Premier League title challenge this season and qualify for next term’s Champions League at the very least.

With a trip to face Watford on Sunday in the back of Mourinho’s mind, there is every chance that the former Chelsea trainer will look to shuffle his pack against Feyenoord.

Wayne Rooney has been left out of the group to face the Eredivisie side and is rested after playing all of United’s opening four Premier League games.

Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard have also all been omitted from the travelling group, offering opportunities to others.

Mourinho has confirmed that Marcos Rojo will play at left-back, while Matteo Darmian is expected to get the nod on the other flank.

Although Zlatan Ibrahimovic is included in the travelling group, the European game appears like the ideal opportunity to give wonderkid Marcus Rashford a starting XI berth.

It will be interesting to see whether Mourinho continues to play the likes of Paul Pogba and Maroune Fellaini in the centre of midfield or rests them for the trip to Vicarage Road.

Morgan Schneiderlin, Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick are all available and the latter pair in particular will be pushing for inclusion in the team.

Potential Manchester United starting XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Pogba, Carrick; Martial, Herrera, Mata; Rashford


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