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Mourinho gives injury update ahead of the Manchester derby on Sunday

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic will return to his side for the Manchester derby on Sunday. Matic was injured a week ago after having to come off early in the 4-2 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road, recovering in time to face Arsenal at the Emirates, a match which United won 3-1. Matic missed the final group stage match in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday evening, United winning 2-1, coming from behind. Sunday’s match will be important for United and Matic as they seek to beat the noisy neighbours.

In his post-match press conference after the 2-1 victory over CSKA Moscow which saw United through to the knockout stages of the Champions League, Mourinho stated that Matic was “still injured but will play for sure.” Paul Pogba will miss the next three matches after being sent off against Arsenal for a challenge on Hector Bellerin, missing the derby, the visit of Bournemouth and the trip to West Bromwich Albion. The Carabao Cup clash with Bristol City will be Pogba’s first match back from suspension.

Currently, United have two players on the sidelines through injury; Phil Jones and Eric Bailly. Jones returned to training this week and has “a chance” to be fit for the weekend and Bailly will remain out of action for the visit of Manchester City. Michael Carrick, who is regaining fitness after sitting out for two months with a heart problem will also miss the match, whilst Marouane Fellaini, who has been missing from the past few matches also has a chance to be fit for the derby.

Mourinho rested striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the 3-1 victory over Arsenal and the 2-1 victory over CSKA Moscow after fatigue played a part in his recovery from his near seven-month knee injury and the manager has stated that the Swedish hero has a “big chance” to play against City on Sunday. United will be needing a strong side against the league leaders, who have not lost a match in all competitions since the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal, after extra time, in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup last season. The 2-1 defeat to Chelsea on the 5th April 2016 was the last in the league.

United have overcome a lot this season, injury to some of their best players, loss of form for others, but still, they are second in the Premier League, into the fifth round of the Carabao Cup and into the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League. United also have a third-round clash with Derby County to look forward to at Old Trafford in January when the Premier League clubs enter the Emirates FA Cup. United have improved this season, but the improvement still needs to keep on coming, taking on the very best to make this season count.

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