Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera are likely to be fit in time to start for Manchester United in a must-win tie against Chelsea in the Premier League.
Manchester United need a win. More importantly so, Jose Mourinho needs a win, especially when the match is against his former club Chelsea at his former hunting ground, Stamford Bridge. But, the Red Devils’ manager has had his preparations marred with a host of players returning unfit or injured from international duty.
David De Gea is an assured presence in goal. But, there could be a lot of shuffling from Jose Mourinho in the rest of the starting eleven. Antonio Valencia will likely return to the side, despite what was a disastrous performance from the veteran in his last outing.
Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly should continue as the central defensive partnership for now, with Jose Mourinho not really confident in Victor Lindelof’s abilities after his gaffe earlier in the season. The left flank should be guarded by Luke Shaw. The Englishman was a doubt for the game but is likely to start, having recovered in time.
Jose Mourinho iterated his frustration as to the injury list, stating in his pre-match conference that he has been surprised by a few injuries that were not known to him. The Portuguese though, stated that Ander Herrera has worked his way back into fitness ahead of schedule and could start in midfield against Chelsea.
“The squad shape is that everybody available is selected. Some came back with injuries, injuries that we were aware of when they happened and the national teams were correct in sending the boys back. We also had surprises with players that we had no idea that they were injured and they arrived with important injuries.”
“Players that are going to make an effort to be available for the team, like Herrera. He trained two days but, with the situation we have, is one step forward and he’s ready to help us.”
With Paul Pogba a certainty to start in midfield, Fred should grab the last spot, with his industry and attacking intent likely to come of use against Chelsea.
In attack, Romelu Lukaku has been anything but a hitman. But, the Belgian will start upfront, especially with Marcus Rashford not really providing a good account of his finishing ability against Newcastle United.
Alexis Sanchez and Juan Mata’s heroics should see them start alongside Lukaku in a three-man attack that will have a huge responsibility on their shoulders.