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Mourinho: "We cannot go to Chelsea with a Nicky Butt team"

Despite the trip to Russia and back, Manchester United will face Chelsea with "everything they have".

Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

One game on Thursday, another on Monday ... all this cup chasing does strange things to the calendar. But despite there being an entire weekend to clear before United get going again, Jose Mourinho's been good enough to give us some insights into his team selection.

In summary, it'll be as strong as it can be.

We don’t have Zlatan, of course not, but we go with everything we have. We don’t put a [weakened] team out like some clubs sometimes — Manchester United cannot do that. We know this Europa League is very important for us, and the FA Cup is beautiful. [...] Manchester United is Manchester United; it's the winner of this competition. It's not Chelsea's fault we were given this Monday match. We'll make changes, as we played on Thursday, but we cannot go to Chelsea with a [Reserve] team.

Actually he said "Nicky Butt team", but United's official website have denied us all the pleasing mental image of eleven Nicky Butts jogging out at Stamford Bridge. Booooooooring.

Perhaps the most interesting question is not one of personnel but of shape: United faced off against Rostov with a highly-unusual-for-Mourinho back three. Chelsea, of course, have utilised the same shape to considerable success this season, but Mourinho has explained that his decision was based on Thursday's opposition, not Monday's.

Playing against these two strikers we were always in control. I had the feeling in the first half that everything was completely under control. I didn’t see us conceding a goal but we did it. They are like this — they are very direct, they don’t use the wingers when the ball goes to the side, it is just to put the ball in the box.

And he would have gotten away with it, if it hadn't been for that dawdling Phil Jones.