Aitor Karanka faces off against Jose Mourinho for the first time as a manager, having served under the Manchester United boss during their stint at Real Madrid.
United finally look to be clicking after winning four straight league games in a single season for the first time since April 2015 – where they won six games in a row – and will be looking to extend that run when they welcome Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Middlesbrough have lost three of their last four in the league and are winless away from home in the each of their last eight, although five of those matches have ended in a draw.
Only five teams have conceded fewer goals in the Premier League this season than Boro, so United cannot afford to be wasteful, as they have throughout the season, on Saturday. Naijabet.com
Manchester United – Wayne Rooney has a thigh injury and will miss United’s game here, as he did on Boxing Day.
Luke Shaw is back in training and has no problems, but Jose Mourinho doesn’t deem he ready to return to the starting XI.
Eric Bailly is a slight doubt although is expected to recover in time to make the squad for the reception of Middlesbrough on New Year’s Eve.
Mourinho says he won’t rotate his team, although Henrikh Mkhitaryan should come back into the XI. Anthony Martial may have to settle for another place on the bench, while Michael Carrick may be rested with one eye on their trip to West Ham on Monday.
Middlesbrough – Viktor Fischer is a huge doubt for the trip to Old Trafford due to a knee injury that saw him miss their 1-0 defeat to Burnley on Boxing Day. James Husband isn’t expected back from a long-term injury just yet, while Antonio Barragan is suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards. Nsue should deputise at right-back as a result.
Aitor Karanka could revert to a 4-5-1 formation, as proved successful against bigger teams earlier in the season, in a bid to frustrate United.
Man Utd have been winning at both half time and full time in their last 4 matches in Premier League.
Man Utd have won their last 4 Premier League matches.
Man Utd are undefeated in their last 11 matches against Middlesbrough in all competitions.
Man Utd have kept a clean sheet in their last 3 matches against Middlesbrough in all competitions.
There have been under 2.5 goals scored in 5 of Middlesbrough’s last 6 away games (Premier League).
Middlesbrough have failed to win their last 8 away matches (Premier League).
Man Utd have seen under 2.5 goals in their last 3 matches against Middlesbrough in all competitions.
Man Utd have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 matches (Premier League).