Marcus Rashford was the one Manchester United player who looked out of sorts against Roma.

Part of this was down to him playing on the right, to accommodate Paul Pogba on the left.

A bigger factor was likely the ongoing problem that Rashford simply is not fully fit.

Manchester United v AS Roma - UEFA Europa League Semi Final: Leg One
(Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images)

ESPN reported on Friday on Rashford’s ‘two year battle’ with injury problems.

He has been playing since early November with a shoulder injury, and surgery could be required after the European Championships which he is determined to play through.

Rashford has also been training sporadically due to an ankle injury, missing the entire week’s training in the build up to last Sunday’s game against Leeds.

Last season he missed time due to a back issue.

Now United have a chance to rest Rashford

United have seemingly locked up a Europa League final berth with a 6-2 home win over Roma.

The team still have a job to do in the second leg, but this can be done while resting Rashford.

There is no urgency to play Rashford against Liverpool this weekend either.

Attacking players like Amad and Donny van de Beek are desperate to start games, and in-form Mason Greenwood had to settle for a place on the bench against Roma.

 

United have a proper chance now to give Rashford a rest.

He could sit out the Liverpool match, the Roma game, and then subsequent Premier League games with Aston Villa and Leicester City.

The most important fixture for Rashford is the Europa League final. United have to make sure he is in peak condition for this game.

This means giving him a rest, and not re-aggravating his existing injuries.

As well as protecting United’s short-term interests, this also helps Rashford long-term.

Rashford is United’s second highest contributor this season with 20 goals and 11 assists.

He will be tempted to play, in order to better last season’s personal best tally of 22 goals.

Leeds United v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Peter Powell – Pool/Getty Images)

Hopefully he can still do this, with United resting him, ahead of a Europa League final hat-trick.

Whether United can stick to this, is uncertain. It won’t be a surprise if he is in the line-up against Liverpool today.

The reality is, United are in such a strong league position that the team can tie up a top four place without him.

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