Jose Mourinho might be without just three first-team players as Manchester United prepare to play hosts to Everton on Sunday evening.
Manchester United will have the chance to climb up the table when they welcome a resurgent Everton side to Old Trafford on Sunday. With the front runners showing no signs of slowing down, Jose Mourinho needs his men to deliver, and his bid to do so has been helped by an emptying treatment room.
The latest bit of good news comes in the form of Jesse Lingard and Scott McTominay, with the Manchester United academy graduates stepping up their recoveries from their respective injuries. Apart from the duo, Alexis Sanchez (groin), Diogo Dalot (match fitness) and Marouane Fellaini (groin) are unavailable.
With Dalot the only defensive player missing out, Mourinho has almost all of his men available at the back, and should thus, name his first-choice back four. As a result, Ashley Young could make way for Antonio Valencia, who will don the armband for Manchester United against Everton.
Joining Valencia in the defensive unit, should be David de Gea, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw. In midfield, Fred could come into the side if Mourinho reverts to a 4-3-3. But, we reckon the Manchester United boss will keep faith in the 4-2-3-1 formation, meaning Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic will be the players lining up in the middle of the park.
Up ahead in attack, Sanchez is definitely out, as iterated earlier. While Lingard is in contention, he is only likely to be fit enough to make the bench, as addressed by Mourinho during his pre-match press conference, with the manager hoping he can be available against Everton.
“He came from the World Cup [with England] with that problem. He thought wrongly that the holiday period would bring things to normality. Then he thought wrongly that keep working or start working with the team would improve the situation and then he felt in an impossible situation to play football.”
“So now he’s going back and doing the work to try to be 100 per cent [fit] and, in this moment, he’s almost there, because of the team’s needs. Can he help us in the next match [against Everton]? That’s the question we have to answer tomorrow [Saturday] or if we wait one more week and give one more week of stability to the work, so he can be back next week. So, he’s almost there.”
With Lingard only likely to make it to the bench, the quartet of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku should start, with the English international being an option off the bench.