Manchester United are all set for the Europa League semi-final clash against Celta Vigo, following their extra-time victory over Anderlecht at Old Trafford in the previous round.
The Red Devils, however, have been hit by several injuries that has seen them drop a few points in the league whilst playing against a few below par teams in the last few games.
But now, the squad has received a huge boost, as center-backs Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, and Chris Smalling, along with midfielder Paul Pogba, were all present in training earlier today, ahead of the crucial European tie. Emerging center-back Axel Tuanzebe, and the exciting midfielders Scott McTominay and Matty Willock also took part in the session.
English duo Smalling and Jones have missed almost a month due to injuries, and Mourinho was previously doubtful of their fitness for this game.
But speaking to the media during his pre-match press conference, the Portuguese provided an injury update and revealed: “Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are back, and Paul Pogba.
“Juan Mata was injured for a while, but he’s ready to play. He’s experienced, he’s one of the few players that played European semi-finals and finals, so it’s nothing new for him.
“The only risk is that he probably can’t play 90 minutes, the risk is that if he starts he doesn’t finish the game. From the bench, no problem for him to play, so he’s selected and he can perfectly play tomorrow.”
Jose further revealed that Eric Bailly is also getting back to full fitness: “Bailly is ready to play. He’s this kind of personality that fights against every problem unless it’s impossible.”
However, full-back Luke Shaw was ruled out for the rest of the season.
“Luke Shaw is injured and it’s an important injury. It doesn’t matter what [the outcome of a medical opinion is], he’s out for the season, that’s confirmed,” Mourinho concluded.
It will be interesting to see how many of these injury returnees are fielded for the upcoming semi-final.
Written by Aakarsh Bommakanti
A scholar in Cricket, an amateur in Football, a fanatic of both. Striving to learn by the day and writing to get closer to his first love, Liverpool Football Club. Work also featured by the4thofficial, Soccersouls, Sportswiki, Faceoffootball, Rousing the Kop.