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Transfer Rater: Lucas Hernandez to Man United

Football Whispers
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Jose Mourinho: 'Difficult' for Martial and Rashford to start together

Former Manchester United forward Andy Cole chats with Alexis Nunes about the futures of Rashford and Martial, Jose Mourinho and a Lukaku-Ibrahimovic partnership.

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial rarely start together because they are too similar, according to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

They were chosen to start together in the Premier League for the first time this season against Newcastle at Old Trafford on Saturday.

It was just the sixth time they have started together in the league since Mourinho took over in 2016 and only the second time they have been accompanied by another striker -- either Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Romelu Lukaku.

Mourinho started with Rashford, Martial and Ibrahimovic at Watford last season -- a game United lost 3-1.

Mourinho said: "They both like to play in the same position and that is difficult.

"They both prefer to play on the left than the right, both playing with another striker through the middle. We lose a point of contact with the midfield that we are used to, with the player playing behind the striker."

Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.
Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford don't start together for Manchester United on a regular basis.

Against Newcastle, Rashford started on the right with Martial on the left, either side of Lukaku, but it was not until Rashford moved inside, with Juan Mata taking up his position on the right, that United began to look dangerous.

The switch helped Mourinho's team come back from a goal down to win 4-1.

Mourinho added: "We found a certain balance and when they start finding, sometimes both, one opening the left and one on the mid-left between the striker and the left winger, it was the moment where we start creating more.

"But to be honest Newcastle was probably the team, not in the second half, but in the first half which come here and we felt a bit of instability in our defensive areas, and that was clearly not because of the defensive players but because of our balance.

"So to play them together gives us things but also takes some things from us."

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.

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