Jose Mourinho Reveals That Eric Bailly And Phillip Jones Will Miss Saturday Premier League Match
Speaking to Helen Evans at the Aon Training Complex, the boss said: “They are out,” referring to central defensive pair Jones and Bailly. “But we are okay because we have [Chris] Smalling, [Marcos] Rojo and [Victor] Lindelof.”
Mourinho also confirmed Zlatan Ibrahimovic will feature for a third successive game in all competitions after making his much-anticipated comeback from injury in last weekend’s top-flight win over Newcastle United, before appearing as a late substitute again in the Champions League tie at Basel.
“I prefer him on the pitch than off the pitch,” the boss told us. “On the pitch, he’s another option for us and he’s an option of quality. His physicality and his intelligence, the way he moves, the way he plays.
“But he needs time. We managed to give him 15/20 minutes in both matches, he needs more of that, so hopefully, tomorrow, we play him again.”
Paul Pogba will start against Brighton in the 15:00 GMT kick-off at Old Trafford, although Mourinho has stated the France international cannot yet complete a full game.
“Paul is still on this process where he cannot reach the fatigue limit,” explained the boss. “He cannot go more than 65 to 70 minutes because that’s when fatigue normally arrives and, with so many matches consecutively, we need to protect such an important player for us.”
The players not involved in Basel could all return, including David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young, Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Meanwhile, Rojo came through his first 90 minutes since a knee operation with no ill effects.
“He was training with the team longer than Paul and Zlatan,” added Mourinho. “But in a period when we had every central defender ready to play so we protected him. We gave him a better condition and, when we put him in the Champions League match, he was really ready.
“So 90 minutes, no problem, no reaction from the knee, confidence in his game, a good, solid performance. It’s very good to have him back.”