Juan Mata could bow out at Manchester United by helping them finish the season unbeaten on the road for the first time in their history IF they avoid defeat against Wolves
- Manchester United are expected to rotate for their trip to Wolves on Sunday
- The Red Devils will have one eye on their Europa League cup final clash
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men take on LaLiga side Villarreal on Wednesday night
Juan Mata may play his final Manchester United game on Sunday as they attempt to complete the season unbeaten away from home for the first time in their history.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to name a shadow side to face Wolves today with Wednesday’s Europa League against Villarreal the bigger priority.
But it does offer 33-year-old Mata the chance of only his sixth Premier League start of the season and give a chance to the likes of exciting teenager Amad Diallo.
Juan Mata (centre) could make his final appearance for Manchester United against Wolves
Mata, who joined United from Chelsea in 2014, is out of contract this summer and reluctant to sign a new one due to the lack of first-team opportunities.
‘It is up to Juan where he wants to continue. He has more football in him, that’s for sure. I have not played him as much as he’d like, and I’d like,’ said the United boss.
‘The decision will be made after the season. He is such a highly-regarded professional and quality player.’
If United avoid defeat at Molineux, they will join a very select group of clubs who have gone a full season without losing an away game. Since Preston achieved it in the 19th Century, only Arsenal (2002 and 2004) have managed it.
Solskjaer will attempt to win his first trophy as United boss in Gdansk on Wednesday. He faces a choice between David de Gea and Dean Henderson in goal aware that he has make a definitive decision next season as to his No1, with the other probably leaving United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted he would have liked to have played Mata more this season
Edinson Cavani will lead the line having signed a one-year extension to stay at United though that won’t stop the club bidding for another centre-forward if Harry Kane or Erling Haaland become available. Mason Greenwood, who is hoping to make Gareth Southgate’s England squad on Tuesday, should also start with Anthony Martial on the bench.
Captain Harry Maguire is unlikely to make the final because of ligament damage sustained against Aston Villa but Solskjaer is reluctant to rule him out until the last minute. ‘I’m like Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber “You’re telling me there is a chance!”’ quipped the United manager.
‘So we still hope, we’re giving him as much time as possible but the hope is getting slimmer.’