Manchester United will be bereft of new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Luke Shaw for the UEFA Europa League tie against Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford on Thursday.
The Red Devils have been handed a huge injury blow as Henrikh Mkhitaryan is still unavailable for the game against Zorya. Joining him on the sidelines will be left-back Luke Shaw who sustained an injury against Watford.
Speaking to the press ahead of Thursday’s game, United boss Jose Mourinho gave an update on Luke Shaw (via MUTV): “He’s ill. He has a temperature, a fever, a bad throat and he arrived this morning and immediately the doctor sent him home because one player like this in the middle of the other ones can affect others so he went home.”
The Portuguese manager also ruled out Armenian attacker Mkhitaryan, but was upbeat of Anthony Martial’s chances of playing the game.
“He has now recovered from the contusion, not the concussion, the contusion in his calf and in his ankle. He has recovered and is ready for tomorrow,” said Mourinho on Martial’s fitness.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is also a confirmed starter for the game. Despite being a 34-year-old, Mourinho has decided to field the Swedish attacker game-in-game-out. However, he is unsure whether captain Wayne Rooney will be on the field from the opening whistle.
The 30-year-old has been under tremendous scrutiny of late and Mourinho believes he needs a bit of protection from the media. “Wayne Rooney is selected. I haven’t decided yet if I start with him. He didn’t train yesterday, he did just a little bit of the session on Monday. He had a back problem also,” said Mourinho.
“I am here to protect him and not to put him in difficult situations. I have to analyse if the best thing for him is to start the game and if he is not totally ready for it,” he added.
David de Gea is expected to be continue in goal with Smalling and Bailly ahead of him. Herrera and Pogba impressed as a pair in the game against Leicester and Mourinho is likely to stick with the winning formula.
Memphis Depay may be given the nod with a bid to hand a breather to the omnipresent wonder-kid Marcus Rashford while Martial could come off the bench in the second period.