Paul Pogba to be back to face Chelsea on Sunday, here’s hoping…

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho gave an injury update during his pre-match press conference ahead of the Premier League clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. United currently have six players on the sidelines through injury, the most recent being Jesse Lingard who suffered a knock to his back against Benfica in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday evening at Old Trafford, along with Michael Carrick, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who at some stage have all been classed as long-term injuries for the club.

During the press conference, Mourinho hinted that the next few days will be telling as to whether some or all (wishful thinking) will become available to face Chelsea. Getting Pogba back into the team seems the most important, or even Fellaini, which would give another option to the manager in midfield after weeks of just having Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera, which could become predictable for Chelsea, who are aiming to recover from a 3-0 Champions League defeat to Roma this week.

Lingard aims to be available for the clash with Chelsea, scoring against the club at Stamford Bridge on the 7th February 2016, a 1-1 draw in the league in the 2015/16 season. United were beaten 4-0 in this fixture last season, which is something United will be seeking to overcome, not having a win at Stamford Bridge for over five years, the last being a 3-2 victory on the 28th October 2012. In that match David Luiz scoring an own goal in the fourth minute, Robin van Persie doubling United’s lead eight minutes match Juan Mata scoring in the 44th minute, Ramires equalising in the 53rd minute and Javier Hernandez winning the match for United in the 75th minute.

United have visited Stamford Bridge seven times since their last defeat, losing six times and coming home with a point once. Jose Mourinho visited his former home last season for the first time with United, seeking a win he did not get. With the work United and Mourinho have put in since that visit, morale will be much higher, especially with United being that wounded team, who are still not being criticised in the media, the same cannot be said about Mourinho’s United who are criticised if they lose, even if they win. Mourinho, when speaking about the players on the sidelines through injury, said:

“I have to wait a little bit. Normally, the press conference is a bit later in the week, we still have Friday and Saturday [to come]. I’m not very optimistic, but I don’t want to lie. I don’t want you to say that I told a lie when I said there’s no chance of recovering – so I prefer just to say two more days to confirm my expectation.”

Having a player such as Pogba back to face Chelsea, along with the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku will be important. The player has not played for nearly two months now and could be out of the mix as far as match fitness goes, but having him back will be a statement, especially for after the international break. Chelsea will be the third Premier League side who finished in the top six last season, ending the season as Premier League champions, so a win at Stamford Bridge will be a massive step in the right direction. Mourinho also spoke about United not having the best record at Stamford Bridge, which will be something the return of Pogba, or even Fellaini could help change. The United manager said:

“It’s a big thing because it’s a big match and because it’s a big opponent. They are the champions and because it’s one of these matches between the top teams in the country. But, from the emotional point of view, it’s just one more game.”

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