Jose Mourinho provides early team news ahead of Burnley clash

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho has been discussing his options ahead of Manchester United’s visit to Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

The 54-year-old will be without both Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the clash with Sean Dyche’s men after the pair both picked up knee injuries during the 2-1 win over Anderlecht in the Europa League quarter-final.

He will have no choice but to field Marcus Rashford at No.9 once again; Daley Blind and Eric Bailly serve as his only recognised centre back pairing ahead of the game.

And Mourinho, speaking soon after the win over Anderlecht, bemoaned his lack of options and freshness ahead of the game.

“Eric Bailly has played six matches in a row – 540 minutes in a row,” he said. “We lost Marcos Rojo, we don’t have Jones, we don’t have Smalling.”

“We are in trouble and, now, we lose Zlatan too but, in attack, we have options: Rooney is coming and let’s see if Mata can also return before the end of the season. Let’s see what happens.

“Herrera plays [against Burnley]. He didn’t play on Thursday – one yellow card and he would have missed the semi-finals. I was thinking about him and [fellow substitute Marouane] Fellaini both at the same time but, because I made a change with Marcos Rojo, I couldn’t do that and he didn’t play.

“So Herrera is fresh to play. Ashley Young is fresh to play and who else? Nobody else is fresh to play! Now we need absolutely everyone and I don’t have to think about Axel Tuanzebe going to the Under-20 World Cup in Korea because maybe Axel has to come now. We need everybody.”

One has to question whether Bailly can really manage another 90 minute stint, especially against a Burnley side that will inevitably play with two up top and opt for an aerial route with Blind in the side.

Perhaps it is time, as Mourinho noted, for Axel Tuanzebe – along with Timothy Fosu-Mensah – to step up to the plate in the senior side at a time of need. It would be something of a sink or swim scenario, but Mourinho has little choice with so many players on the treatment table.

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