Jose Mourinho provides early team news on Everton fixture

by Tanveer Arayan


Jose Mourinho has provided some early team news ahead of Manchester United’s game against Everton on Tuesday, noting that he will be forced into once again using both Antonio Valencia and Eric Bailly.

The 54-year-old will be without Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Juan Mata after the trio all sustained long-term injuries over the international break.

Ander Herrera and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will return from suspension but Paul Pogba, despite stepping up his recovery process last week, remains a doubt.

And Mourinho, speaking after his side’s 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion, noted that he will not have the luxury of resting players ahead of the clash with Ronald Koeman’s men.

“It’s such a small squad, I cannot be happy to play in two days without options,” he said.

“I’m happy to play every game but, in this moment, I’m without options. Many people, especially in some positions, cannot play and I would prefer to give a little rest to brave guys like Antonio [Valencia] and Eric [Bailly], who were playing for the national teams and travelling here to come to play again.

“They deserve a little bit more but we have to do it so let’s go.”

We have reached a point in Man United’s injury crisis where the side almost picks itself: Mourinho could potentially rest Marcos Rojo for the game on Tuesday and use Daley Blind, but his recent lack in faith in both Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian, along with injuries to Smalling and Jones, may mean that Bailly and Valencia will have to feature in the starting XI once again.

A silver lining is that Herrera and Zlatan, two monumentally important characters when it comes to defining United’s mental approach, will be fresh and ready to go on Tuesday night.

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