Plenty of Manchester United supporters are dreading the thought of seeing Marouane Fellaini’s name in the starting lineup against Southampton in Sunday’s EFL Cup final at Wembley.
The midfielder’s chances of being included the first XI have increased after Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Michael Carrick suffered injuries during Wednesday’s Europa League last-32 tie against St Etienne.
It was a professional performance from the Red Devils as they ended up winning the tie 4-0 on aggregate and comfortably secured a place in the last-16 stage.
Mkhitaryan scored the one and only goal in the second leg in France, but he was withdrawn around the 25th minute after feeling his hamstring.
Carrick was taken off almost 20 minutes into the second half with a calf problem, and manager Jose Mourinho believes that he will be without both players for this weekend’s showdown.
After the match, the Portuguese coach told BT Sport:
“I don’t say. I just say what I feel. With three days a hamstring and calf, even if it’s a minor injury, I always think three days [there is] no time.
“You can be injured leaving your house, you can be injured in the garden. You never know when and why. You always have the risk of it but when somebody is missing it’s the opportunity for another one. Obviously they are important players for us and not to have them both for the final is complicated.”
If the pair are ruled out of the final then it paves the way for Fellaini or Bastian Schweinsteiger, but many fans believe that the former Everton man will be selected.
The Belgian has struggled to endear himself to the fans since moving to Old Trafford in 2013, but he has an admirer in Mourinho as he signed a contract extension in January.
Judging by the reaction on Twitter, though, supporters fear defeat if Fellaini starts.
Fellaini guaranteed to start the cup final. Starting with 10 men
— George ???? (@ProudPogba) February 22, 2017
As long as Fellaini doesnt start, any lineup will do for Sunday's final #mufc
— Henrikh (@OnlyOneMiki) February 22, 2017
@ShakirP7 knowing that fellaini will probably play is even worse
— Farraj (@FarrajAli1) February 22, 2017
— Rasmus Birch (@Rasmus_Birch11) February 22, 2017
Mkhitaryan and Carrick are not gonna play in the final. Does this mean that Fellaini is gonna start ????. Terrible news.
— Farman Bond (@Farman_Bond007) February 22, 2017
— Rourke Broad (@RourkeBroad7) February 22, 2017
Mkhi and Carrick out for the final Lingard and Fellaini gonna start oh well better get ready for a 2-1 loss then
— Ronnie (@Mickytargaryan) February 22, 2017
Lingard & Fellaini to start on Sunday pic.twitter.com/fWMuJul5yD
— Christian Wolff (@tondizoro) February 22, 2017
*MENTALLY and EMOTIONALLY* Prepared for Fellaini to start on sunday… #mufc
— Thizzle (@RedDevil09) February 22, 2017
Martial can replace Mkhi. Who will replace Carrick? Fellaini seems risky.
— Arun (@boysmunna) February 22, 2017
Mkhitaryan and Carrick out of the final. Fellaini and Lingard to start Sunday pic.twitter.com/UAzaY7yHZd
— YC (@__YC___) February 22, 2017
Fellaini starting the final now… sigh. Not ideal is it.
— Hayley B (@Hayles_101) February 22, 2017