When Jose Mourinho spoke about the Europe League with such disdain in the past, it was because he didn’t ever expect to be competing in it. When he moved to Manchester United this summer and it became clear that he would have to take part, he didn’t raise his opinion of the competition much. He thought he would be too busy fighting for the title to take it seriously.
Only now, with his season and potentially his career at United under threat, will Jose appreciate having a winnable game in the calendar. Going to Turkey will not be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but United showed in their 4-1 win in the reverse fixture that they are a class above the Istanbul side. Even a raucous atmosphere shouldn’t prevent United getting a much needed win here.
Mourinho will want to keep a fresh team ready for Sunday’s game at Swansea, but there won’t be too much rotation – at this stage the United manager just can’t afford it.