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22nd Jul 2016

Jose Mourinho’s second Manchester United starting XI raises more questions than answers

No striker?

Kevin Beirne

Jose Mourinho and Manchester United – a match made in heaven.

That’s the line that was trotted out over and over by joyous United fans and sneering rival supporters once it became clear the Portuguese would be taking over the top job at Old Trafford.

But we’re just one (pre-season) game into the Special One’s reign and he’s already upsetting United fans.

The Red Devils are in China as they prepare for the season ahead, and on Friday they take on Borussia Dortmund in the International Champions Cup.

British fans know well the threat poses by the stylish Germans, and although it’s only a friendly, we were expecting it to be a pretty good game.

That is, until we saw Manchester United’s starting line up. Now we can’t wait to see what happens as Mourinho has gone for a very interesting mix of players – and no clear striker.

Not only is Antonio Valencia captain for the day, but there is no room for either Wayne Rooney or David de Gea in the squad. Meanwhile, Henrikh Mkhitaryan makes his second outing in a Manchester United shirt against the very club he left for £26m this summer.

Oh, and did we mention the fact there’s no striker?

Sure, there are some attacking options on the bench (and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not on the tour) but this could also be a clue towards Mourinho either employing a false nine throughout the season or just a sign of his supposedly defensive style.

Either way, fans weren’t happy.

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