Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has addressed the media in Switzerland ahead of the Reds’ Champions League tie at Basel on Wednesday.
The Reds trained in front of the cameras in the morning at the Aon Training Complex with all of the senior squad taking part except Eric Bailly, Michael Carrick and Phil Jones. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Marcos Rojo were all in the matchday party for the 4-1 win over Newcastle United last weekend and should be available again.
Jones has a “proper injury” that will rule him out of the European clash and also Saturday’s Premier League encounter with Brighton so Chris Smalling starts. Ibrahimovic will be on the bench again following his cameo against the Magpies while Bailly has a chance to be fit for the Brighton game.
The manager was asked about Henrikh Mkhitaryan‘s exclusion on Saturday and replied: “There is always a question about someone who is not playing or is not in the best form. There are no questions about Anthony Martial and no questions about Chris Smalling.
“There are always questions about somebody in a certain moment, a certain match and a certain period that didn’t play. The story is always the same. In some positions, when you don’t have injuries, you have lots of options in other positions. In this moment, we have Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay so I can imagine, next week, you are going to ask – why is this player not playing?
“Micki is not playing because we had lots of options for that match. I decided to play Marcus Rashford and Martial together. For many weeks, the questions was – why do they not play together? Now the question is why is Micki not playing. The answer is every simple – until the international board change the rules, I can only start with 11!”
The boss also suggested he is comfortable with the state of the pitch after it was relaid, so he will have no problem playing his returning stars. Meanwhile, Jesse Lingard is one booking away from a suspension in the competition.
Basel will be without suspended midfielder Taulant Xhaka, with coach Raphael Wicky admitting: “We will miss him.” Omar Gaber, Germano Vailati and Ricky van Wolfswinkel are also expected to be sidelined.