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Mourinho rues injuries ahead of Sevilla clash – hopeful that three to four players may return

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has spoken about a number of injury problems ahead of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg clash against Sevilla on Wednesday evening. Over the past few matches, there has been a number of absentees with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marouane Fellaini long-term doubts but more recently Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia have had problems, not to mention the illness of Paul Pogba.

Mourinho made several changes ahead of the Emirates FA Cup clash with Huddersfield Town on Saturday evening, of which United won 2-0 with a brace from Romelu Lukaku and a controversial VAR ruling for Juan Mata’s strike late in the first half. With the Champions League coming into play on Wednesday Mourinho will be seeking to have as many experienced first team players available as beating Sevilla will be no easy task. Speaking to the official Manchester United website about his current injury problems, Mourinho said:

“I didn’t rest anyone other than [David] De Gea. Can we recover some of them for Wednesday? I think [Marcus] Rashford, [Ander] Herrera, [Antonio] Valencia have a chance.

“Paul Pogba? I don’t know. [Marcos] Rojo, [Phil] Jones, [Marouane] Fellaini, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], I don’t think they have any chance.”

Late in the match at Huddersfield, Eric Bailly made his return from nearly four months out due to injury. He did not have much involvement in the match as it was literally at the end of stoppage time, but it will be a massive boost for Mourinho and United with his experience and the fact he was one of, if not the best defender at the club last season, despite his disciplinary record. If Rojo and Jones are unavailable, which will be another blow for the former, not really the latter, having Bailly and Victor Lindelof as the defensive duo could be good for United.

Mourinho has suggested that Pogba may or may not play a part in the game in Seville, although it was reported that the Frenchman trained over the weekend. If Rashford, Herrera, and Valencia are able to shake off their injuries, it will be a big boost for United as they will have three, or four with Pogba, fresh players to bring back into the squad, not to mention David De Gea who was the only player rested at the weekend.

The press conference ahead of the fixture is still around 24 hours away and it will be then that Mourinho will know of the players available, or at least we will as the press conference will be in Spain after the entire squad has travelled out there on Tuesday morning. The media will most likely be present at Manchester airport and images of players arriving for their flight will be made public, then we will have an idea who will be available. It is important for United to get a good result out in Spain, scoring multiple away goals will be the best start ahead of the Old Trafford leg in March.

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