Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has been left out of Jose Mourinho’s starting XI for the Premier League clash with reigning champions Leicester City.
Rooney has come in for criticism after his disappointing performances in the back-to-back league defeats to Manchester City and Watford, as well as the 3-1 EFL Cup win over Northampton.
Mourinho told reporters that Rooney had been affected by the comments on his form after England’s 1-0 World Cup qualification victory over Slovakia earlier this month and has left the 30-year-old out of the side for Saturday’s game at Old Trafford.
Anthony Martial had already been ruled out through injury.
– Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 24, 2016
In his programme notes for the match, Mourinho — who had hit out at “Einsteins” this week — again questioned analysts and pundits who had expressed doubts over his team after the losses to City, Feyenoord and Watford.
“We can’t run away from the reality that we recently had a bad week with three bad results, but we must also not ignore the history of this club, its players and its manager,” he wrote.
“Two weeks ago we were a top club, a top team with top players and a top manager, but in the space of one week the ‘football experts’ changed their opinion.
“That is an easy job, but we still prefer ours with so many amazing moments and also the pleasure to live and fight against adversity and moments of sadness.
“During the week we are not on holiday, we have no time for posh dinners in restaurants, we don’t feed the vanity of the opinion-makers. We work hard and remind each other what we have achieved and what we have in life, nobody gave to us on a silver plate.
“We had to fight for it so now, after a bad week, we are going to do what we did all our lives: fight hard.”
– Leicester City (@LCFC) September 24, 2016
Manchester United starting XI: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Blind, Pogba, Herrera, Rashford, Mata, Lingard, Ibrahimovic.
Leicester City starting XI: Zieler, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Mahrez, Drinkwater, Amartey, Albrighton, Slimani, Vardy.
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