Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will ignore the rigours of the club's current fixture schedule and name a full strength side for the FA Cup quarter-final visit to former club Chelsea. The game at Stamford Bridge comes amid a run of four games in 10 days for Mourinho's men, who are still fighting on three fronts this term.
The EFL Cup winners face the Premier League leaders on Monday [13 March], three days before United welcome Russian side FC Rostov [16 March] for the second leg of their Europa League last 16 tie, which is currently locked at 1-1. Next weekend [19 March] they then travel to Middlesbrough in the hope of breathing new life into their Champions League qualification campaign.
Top-scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic is suspended for United as he serves the first of his three-match ban for elbowing Bournemouth's Tyrone Mings, but Mourinho has an otherwise injury-free, yet jaded, squad to choose from. The Portuguese coach made seven changes to the side which drew with Rostov and further alterations are expected, though Mourinho is unwilling to play the reserves.
"We have three days and we have to travel," Mourinho told MUTV. "We have to go to London. It's really hard. 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. We cannot go there with a [reserve] team, we'll try to manage it within our squad and get a good team to compete with them. 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."
United came through the stalemate with Rostov unscathed, despite fears over the pitch at the Stadion Olimp 2. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was considered a doubt before the game but played for an hour, during which time he scored a critical away goal for the three-time European champions. Eric Bailly missed the game through suspension and is likely to return alongside the likes of David de Gea and Antonio Valencia.
"We want to keep two doors open," Mourinho added. "We have to keep getting points in the Premier League to keep our chances open and if we get through the knock-out round here, we're in the quarter-finals and feel the door is open, so we have to try. We have a trophy in our pocket, which is a good feeling for everyone. Now we have the Premier League for the fight for the top four and we have the Europa League fight for Rostov."