Luke Shaw is confirmed to be absent from the starting eleven as Jose Mourinho and his Manchester United host AS Saint Etienne in UEFA Europa League.
Manchester United have only one injury concern ahead of their Thursday night first-leg tie in the UEFA Europa League Knockout Phase against Ligue 1 outfit AS Saint Etienne. Phil Jones is yet to fully recover from his most recent injury layoff and is expected to miss the match.
Jose Mourinho, though, went a step ahead as he confirmed his back four for the match, in the pre-match conference. The Portuguese stated that he is set to start the pairing of Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling in the middle with Antonio Valencia and Daley Blind on either side of the pair.
Another important highlight of Mourinho’s presser was his confirmation that, despite being available, Luke Shaw has not been included in the starting eleven.
“Phil is still recovering from the injury. He’s [Luke] not playing tomorrow, because my team is playing well and I am happy with my back four. I am going to repeat Valencia, Bailly, Smalling and Daley Blind.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 15, 2017
Elsewhere, Jose Mourinho iterated that the English duo of Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney are both set to miss the fixture but that they are not injured. On the other hand, Jose delivered a positive update on Marcos Rojo, stating that the Argentine has now recovered from his injury.
“ Marcos Rojo is totally recovered. We protected him at the weekend and now he is totally recovered. Carrick and Rooney, they appear with little things. I am not saying injuries because I don’t think we are speaking about injuries, but little things that I think are going to keep them out of the match tomorrow.”
Marcus Rashford has come in the news recently, with rumours flying of his reported unhappiness at lack of opportunities and it would be interesting to see if Mourinho chooses to start the talented Englishman against Saint Etienne, upfront or otherwise.
The match is of special significance to Paul Pogba, with the Frenchman set to go up against his elder brother Florentin Pogba and it would be interesting to see how the Saint Etienne defender handles himself against such an array of world class talent, including his brother.