In the moments after Rafa Benitez admitted Atsu, Lascelles and Merino will all miss tomorrow’s game, opposing manager Jose Mourinho has revealed this afternoon that Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo are all ‘ready to play’ – suggesting the trio could now feature in tomorrow’s game at Old Trafford.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 17, 2017
Starting with Pogba, it has been debated all week whether he would be ready to make his long-awaited return, and despite the latest suggestions claiming it would come too soon for the Frenchman, Mourinho has suggested he will play some part.
Man Utd’s dip in form has coincided with his absence in the team, so it’s fair to say the return of the influential midfielder would be a blow to our hopes tomorrow.
Not only that, Jose also looks set to welcome back star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with influential striker likely to take his place on the bench after being sidelined for several months:
Here’s what Mourinho has said to MUFC TV today:
“The players that stayed here recovering from injuries, even the ones that are recovering from big injuries, they are ready to play – Pogba, Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo.
“Paul Pogba you can see…clearly you can see there was a Manchester United this season, before and after his injury.
“He has the qualities that influence our approach in matches.
“Last season we played with Zlatan every minute but we have learned how to play without him.
“Of course we welcome him back – he is an incredible personality.”
Really, we can only focus on ourselves ahead of tomorrow’s game, but confirmation of our trio of injured players has coincided with Man Utd welcoming back three first-team stars, it isn’t exactly the news we wanted to hear today.
It’s looking like being a tough old evening at Old Trafford tomorrow, but hopefully Rafa and the boys can put in a real shift and tactical masterclass to stop Mourinho’s men.