Neil Humphreys: Let Rashford lead the line in Turin
Youngster should start in match where chances will be few and far between
Sentimental supporters can be ruthlessly unsentimental. Manchester United fans have seen enough of Romelu Lukaku to know they're not overly keen on seeing him in Turin tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
According to a recent Manchester Evening News survey, a remarkable 73 per cent of fans called for Lukaku to be benched against Juventus.
Common sense dictates that Marcus Rashford leads the line in a Champions League tie where goal-scoring chances will be few and far between.
Lukaku's £75-million (S$134.78m) price tag isn't the Kevlar vest it once was. Form may be temporary and class permanent, but the Belgian isn't showing much of either.
He was left out of the 2-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday due to a muscle injury and is doubtful for this match.
Judging from the survey, he won't be missed by United fans.
No goals in nine appearances - and a couple of United victories without him in the starting XI - leave him vulnerable on the teamsheet and unappreciated in the stands, which aren't surprising.
In the first leg, the Belgian's confidence seemed to evaporate. Those serial-killer lookalikes, otherwise known as Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, bounced Lukaku from one pocket to another, as if playing hide and seek with Tom Thumb.
The Belgian stands at 1.9m and weighs almost 95kg, but he displayed the shape and consistency of a plastic inflatable in a gentle storm. He wasn't blown away, just frequently brushed aside.
Chiellini and Bonucci must think of an out-of-sorts, jittery Lukaku in the way a farmer thinks of a turkey at Christmas. The knives are sharpened and the target cornered. There's only one conceivable outcome.
But Rashford is an entirely different proposition. At 21, his youth is both a blessing and a curse. His decision-making is erratic, but he's also fast and effervescent; qualities not typically associated with Mourinho's United.
Whether Rashford happens to be a superior striker to either Lukaku or even Alexis Sanchez is a moot point at the moment. When he leads the line, United seem quicker and more decisive.
Anything could happen with him up front and there's a chance that his exuberance will eventually sputter and run out, but he offers a zip and vitality, which pretty much saved the day at the Vitality Stadium.
Sanchez initially led the line against Bournemouth and the Chilean created Anthony Martial's equaliser, but Mourinho wasn't convinced.
When Rashford came on, the Englishman was sent through the middle and United pursued a winner with a relentless commitment that evoked hazy memories of "Fergie time".
Rashford's injury-time goal stole the headlines, but his earlier introduction had already allowed United to seize the initiative.
The English forward's explosive style inevitably comes with a degree of uncertainty that troubles Mourinho, the kind of coach that generally sticks on anything over 15 in blackjack.
But Rashford has now scored two goals and made one assist in eight EPL appearances and his endeavour should be rewarded with the striker's role for pragmatic purposes.
In Turin, the Allianz Stadium has grown into a fortress of near mythical legend, displaying an impregnable strength that makes the Wall in Game of Thrones look like it was made of ice cream.
Juventus have lost only two Champions League games at the Allianz Stadium since 2011, when they moved in. They give away chances in the way rival defenders might give away their children. Generally speaking, they don't.
Mourinho may be forced to recognise what United's single-minded supporters increasingly believe: Rashford is likely to create more opportunities for himself and others.
The unpredictability of a cheeky youngster might just be United's greatest asset.
Juventus are odds-on favourites at their Italian garrison, so Mourinho might as well back a long shot.