Preview: Manchester United v Zorya Luhansk

Manchester United will be looking to get their Europa League campaign up and running when Zorya Luhansk visit Old Trafford on Thursday.

Jose Mourinho's side were beaten 1-0 by Feyenoord in their Group A opener at De Kuip a fortnight ago to leave them bottom of the four-team table.

That defeat came in the middle of a three-match losing streak for the Red Devils in all competitions after they had won their opening three games of the Premier League season.

They have since bounced back by knocking Northampton Town out of the EFL Cup with a 3-1 win before dispatching defending league champions Leicester 4-1 at the weekend.

Zorya, meanwhile, were denied a winning start in the group after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Fenerbahce in the Ukraine.

Yuriy Vernydub's men had led through Dmytro Grechyshkin's 52nd-minute opener, but the Yellow Canaries spoiled the party with a last-gasp equaliser from Simon Kjaer in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

The Ukrainian Premier League outfit have lost just once domestically this term and are just five points off leaders Shakhtar Donetsk in second place, after going unbeaten in their last four outings with two draws followed by two wins.

As such, Mourinho has done his homework on the opposition in a bid to avoid a potential upset and he insists victory is crucial to United's first target of getting past the group stages.

"I watched their match against Fenerbahce and against Dynamo Kiev. I chose two good ones, two big ones – one at home, one away, against two difficult opponents and now I know what I saw, what I watch, what I analyse," the Portuguese coach said in his pre-match press conference.

"To be honest I think we have to win. If we don't win, we have four matches and I would say we'd have to win all the last four matches, which is difficult so I think tomorrow is very important that we win the game."

Mourinho selected Marcus Rashford to lead the line against the Eredivisie high-flyers, but he confirmed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will start up front this time around.

Anthony Martial is also back in contention after recovering from a calf injury sustained in the 3-1 loss at Watford 10 days ago, but Luke Shaw misses out – the left-back having been sent home with an illness.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan will play no part for a fifth consecutive game since being hauled off at half-time in the 2-1 derby defeat to Manchester City, while Mourinho is wary of playing Wayne Rooney amid criticism of the striker from the media.

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