Premier League giant Manchester United take on Ukrainian Premier League side FC Zorya Luhansk in a UEFA Europa League 2016-17 group game on Thursday at Old Trafford. The Red Devils come into the game at the back of a morale-boosting 4-1 win against Leicester City in the English league last weekend.
Jose Mourinho's side look the definite favourites in this clash against the less-known football club from Ukraine, but in football, taking any team for granted is equivalent to suicide.
Wayne Rooney, who played only in the final 10 minutes of the match against Leicester, was tipped to start the game against Zorya, but a late back problem for the England skipper has made Mourinho rethink.
"I was completely convinced to play with him [Rooney] from the beginning [on Thursday] but with his situation in the last couple of days I am not sure," said the Portuguese coach in the pre-match presser. "With the situation you [the media] create for him, he really can't afford to have a performance that is not really good. I am here to protect him and not put him in difficult situations."
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, meanwhile, is expected to start once again for United, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Luke Shaw will not be seen in the match.
Zorya, meanwhile, who are in the group stages of the Europa League for the first time-ever, are not willing to be nervous ahead of the big game. "I hope we will put on a decent performance in Manchester, although it will be very difficult," Zorya coach Yuriy Vernydub told the Guardian. "It's hard to compare our clubs in terms of anything, be it squads or finances. But that will make our match-up even more interesting."
"Am I nervous?" Not yet.
Manchester United vs Zorya is scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. BST (12:30 a.m. IST [Friday], 3 p.m. EST) on Sept. 29.
How to watch
India: TV: Ten 2, Ten 1 HD. Live streaming: Ten Sports live.
UK: TV: BT Sport 2. Live streaming: BT Sport live.
Ukraine: TV: Futbol 2. Live streaming: Oll.