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Adam Baker

Adam Baker writes

Posted Wednesday, December 20th 2017

Mourinho hints at strong team selection

José Mourinho says he will select a strong side at Ashton Gate because City are “one of the best teams in the Championship”.

Often Premier League clubs rotate their team in the Carabao Cup competition – even Lee Johnson has opted to make several changes in previous rounds.

But as Wembley is just three matches away, including a two-legged semi-final, Mourinho looks set to go strong in BS3.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is one player who could be welcomed back into the fold, having not featured from the start since November.

“I am making a few changes for the match, but not many because Bristol City are one of the best teams in the Championship,” said the Red Devils boss.

“For me now, the Championship is not the Championship of five or ten years ago. The Championship is now high-quality teams with lots of players that could be playing in the Premier League easily.

“So we need to take the game really seriously. I am going to make a few changes and it is possible Mkhitaryan is involved.”

He added: “At the moment, we are playing [Juan] Mata, [Marcus] Rashford, [Jesse] Lingard or [Anthony] Martial and [Romelu] Lukaku.

"So, on the bench, we have [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic and one of the other ones, Martial or Rashford. So there is no space for everyone because you need balance on the bench too."

Sergio Romero is expected to start in goal, having replaced David De Gea in previous rounds.

Mourinho hinted that Nemanja Matic has been carrying an injury of late but felllow midfielder Paul Pogba is back from a three-game suspension.