Manchester United are set to be without six of their first-team stars when Crystal Palace visit Old Trafford on Saturday.
Captain Michael Carrick picked up an injury before the 4-1 demolition of CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, and was left at home, alongside the likes of Phil Jones, Marouane Fellaini and Antonio Valencia.
Although Valencia is fit, and was only asked to remain at home so he could have a rest, Jones is said to have been carrying an ankle injury for the last month or so, but has been playing through it.
This happens to be an improvement on the Englishman’s part as compared to last season, when Mourinho often criticized the defender for not showing enough bravery to force himself back from a long-term injury before the expected return date.
Meanwhile, Marouane Fellaini picked up a knock during the club’s hard fought 1-0 win over Southampton at St. Mary’s stadium last weekend.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo are continue their rehabilitations, and are expected to return around December. Paul Pogba has been absent since United’s Champions League opener against FC Basel at Old Trafford, and is expected to miss another month of action due to his hamstring injury.
Luke Shaw has returned to the fold, but has not been trusted to start a game by Mourinho yet, and it appears that will be the case yet again on Saturday, unless United are in desperate need of a defender. The Portuguese boss may opt to give Victor Lindelöf his Premier League debut instead, by playing a three-man defense.
Anthony Martial was set to complete 90 minutes against CSKA, but limped off in the closing stages. However, his injury was not serious, and he is expected to be fit for the game on Saturday.
The injury pile-up had a massive impact on United’s poor domestic campaign last season, and even though the absence of many players doesn’t seem to have had too much of a negative vibe around the dressing room, it will be an eager watch to see how they cope without so many big stars.
Speaking after the 4-1 riot in Russia, Mourinho provided an update on the injured players ahead of the game at Old Trafford, and said: “I think Carrick has no chance. I think Jones, I have many doubts, and Fellaini, I have a hope but just a hope.”
Manchester United fan, Wayne Rooney is his role model. Passionate writer who has written for several sites in the past. He’s also an aspiring pianist and creates background music for BlameFootball’s Youtube channel.