The teams are out for Manchester United’s final game of the calendar year, which comes at home to Middlesbrough. The best news is the return of Eric Bailly to the heart of the defence; he partners Chris Smalling at the back, with Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo both dropping to the bench.
The worst is the absence of Michael Carrick, who has been ruled out of today’s match through illness. He’s replaced by Marouane Fellaini, with Juan Mata and Bastian Schweinsteiger both made to settle for places on the bench. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is already back after an injury scare, and flanks Zlatan Ibrahimović with Anthony Martial.
Here's today's #MUFC team to face Middlesbrough... #MUNMID pic.twitter.com/1ump6Cs3NN— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 31, 2016
Boro boss Aitor Karanka has unsurprisingly selected a defensive team, with the attack-minded former United full-back Fabio da Silva benched and replaced by the sturdier George Friend. Grant Leadbitter, Adam Forshaw and Maarten de Roon form a strong and energetic midfield three, while centre-forward Álvaro Negredo is their goalscoring dangerman.
TEAM NEWS | Here's how #Boro will line up to face @ManUtd this afternoon. #UTB pic.twitter.com/NitjyUowGW— Middlesbrough FC (@Boro) December 31, 2016