Jose Mourinho has captain Wayne Rooney fit and available as Manchester United host West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Manchester United return to Premier League action on Saturday as they host West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford, eager to continue their charge towards the Top 4. The Red Devils cannot afford to drop any points this weekend, and ahead of Saturday’s encounter, here’s the team news for Jose Mourinho’s side.
The news on that front isn’t good at all, as Mourinho has his list of absentees growing by the week. The Manchester United boss is now set to be without five of his first-team regulars due to fitness issues and suspensions.
Defence has been the worst-hit area for Manchester United after senior centre-backs Phil Jones and Chris Smalling suffered injuries on international duty. While Jones sustained a foot injury in a clash with Smalling, the latter later picked up a knee injury.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 31, 2017
When quizzed about the injuries sustained by Jones and Smalling in his pre-match press conference, Mourinho provided a grim picture, as he said: “They are long-term injuries.”
Meanwhile, Paul Pogba continues to remain sidelined with the hamstring injury he sustained in the Europa League tie against FC Rostov last month. Ander Herrera and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are the other two absentees, as the duo serve the last matches of their respective suspensions.
Continuing on his team news update, Mourinho added: “The important ones are the ones who are ready to play. That’s the way we have to think, we cannot be here crying or speaking about the players that are not available to play.
“You know about Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] and [Ander] Herrera, they are suspended. You know that Herrera has two matches banned for that episode against Chelsea. You know what happened in the English national team with Smalling and Jones. You know that we have also [Paul] Pogba injured.”
The one positive news coming out of Mourinho’s press conference is that captain Wayne Rooney is fit and available for selection after missing the last few weeks with a knee injury. Marouane Fellaini is likely to play too, despite suffering a toe injury on international duty with Belgium.
Mourinho also provided update on the situations of Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia, who returned late from international duty with Argentina and Ecuador respectively, but are expected to start on Saturday. He said: “They are not with injuries that stop them to play. Tired? Yes, of course but ready to try to help us.”