Jose Mourinho provides team news ahead of CSKA Moscow clash

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Paul Pogba and Sergio Romero will start against CSKA Moscow on Tuesday nigh, adding that Nemanja Matic, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick were all unavailable.

Pogba received a red card during the 3-1 win over Arsenal last weekend and will miss three Premier League games as a result.

He started alongside Nemanja Matic, who was expected to miss the trip to the Emirates with a muscle problem, only for the Serbian to recover spectacularly and deliver an excellent performance.

But Mourinho, speaking at a press conference ahead of the clash with CSKA Moscow, confirmed that Matic, along with those that were unavailable on Saturday, would not feature at Old Trafford.

“We have problems, we have injuries,” he said. “[Nemanja] Matic is injured and when I say he is injured, he is injured. I am not going to make him play tomorrow so Matic is out.

“A couple of other guys are playing every match and they also need a rest. More importantly, the others deserve an opportunity to play.”

“All the other players that didn’t play the last match are still out. I can make a surprise tomorrow and the one that is unavailable, he plays.”

And the 54-year-old, when asked about Ibrahimovic’s absence from the squad over the weekend, noted that he wasn’t injured but rather fatigued by the strenuous efforts required to get his knee back to full strength.

“Zlatan is not injured. He needs to work very hard on the muscular area that supports the knee that had the problem. When that hard work comes, so does fatigue.”

“He was on this cycle of work, divided between the gym and the pitch. And he will be out again for tomorrow but I believe back to normal work after CSKA.”

Supporters will desperately hope that Matic’s injury – presumably a hangover from the affliction that nearly kept him out over the weekend – is not serious enough to keep him out of the Manchester derby on Saturday.

How far the likes of Fellaini, Bailly and Jones are from full recovery remains a mystery, but with Pogba missing out over the weekend you expect them to be rushed back for what promises to be a defining game in the context of this season.

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