Jose Mourinho will be without three first-team players as Manchester United prepare to host Huddersfield Town at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Manchester United will be looking to shrug off their disappointing midweek loss to Tottenham when they welcome Huddersfield Town to Old Trafford on Saturday. The match will mark the beginning of the commemorations for the 60th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster, but Jose Mourinho also has his focus on the matters on the field.
With Bailly still sidelined, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones should be the central defensive pairing once again for Manchester United despite their poor showing against Tottenham. But, there could be a change in one full-back area, with Luke Shaw likely to earn a recall into the starting lineup.
On Saturday, the Manchester United boss will be without three key first-team players, with Marouane Fellaini the latest player on the treatment table. Mourinho remarked in his pre-match press conference that the Belgian midfielder has injured the same knee that has been troubling him for three months, although it’s only a short-term injury this time around.
“He has a problem in his knee – it’s the same knee [as previous injuries] but not the same location. It was internal, now it’s external, so let’s wait probably a couple more days, but of course he is out of the game tomorrow. Probably we are going to lose him for a few weeks, but I cannot say if it’s two, three, four or five [weeks]. I cannot say at this moment.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (hamstring) and Eric Bailly (ankle) have stepped up their recoveries. And Mourinho is hoping the pair can return later this month as the fixtures start piling up.
“They are working on the pitch but not yet with us as a group so they are not very close to a return. But I want to believe that by Champions League time, around the end of the month, they will be back.”
Up ahead in midfield, Mourinho might implement a tactical change by choosing a 4-3-3 formation and provide Paul Pogba more freedom to attack. Ander Herrera could, thus, return to the side to line up alongside Pogba and Nemanja Matic, with Jesse Lingard likely to be the player to make way.
Upfront, Alexis Sanchez looks set to make his Old Trafford bow on the momentous occasion, with Romelu Lukaku being the focal point of attack once again. The final change of the evening could see Marcus Rashford making a return to the side on the left flank, with Anthony Martial dropping out.