Jose Mourinho confirms Nemanja Matic is a doubt to face Arsenal

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Marouane Fellaini will all miss Saturday’s clash with Arsenal, adding that Nemanja Matic was a doubt.

The Serbian came off after 53 minutes during the 4-2 win over Watford with a muscle problem to be replaced by Ander Herrera.

Fellaini’s knee problem has resurfaced, while both Bailly and Jones haven’t featured since the international break.

And Mourinho, when asked at a press conference whether he had made any further contact with England boss Gareth Southgate, who he criticised for fielding a barely fit Jones against Germany last month, replied: No. And he[Jones]’s not available. Bailly is not available.”

“Matic is a doubt. I hope he can but I cannot guarantee he is selected to go, let’s see the feeling before the match, let’s see the warm up, I hope he can, I want to, he wants to, but I cannot guarantee and Fellaini is not travelling with the team.”

Man United’s medical staff are clearly allowing for as much time as possible before making a final decision on the Serbian. The importance of his presence at the base of midfield alongside Paul Pogba was highlighted by sudden porousness in the middle that followed his departure in the second half at Vicarage Road, and his absence at the Emirates could be decisive.

Ander Herrera, his likely replacement, can make life difficult for any midfielder but has lacked the positional nous and tenacious effect on battles in the middle that hallmarked his superb 2016/17 campaign.

Supporters will just hope that the Spaniard, should he be needed, can turn a corner against Arsene Wenger’s side.

You may also like