Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that Luke Shaw is in line to feature in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow but adds that Nemanja Matic and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are both ruled out due to injury.
Shaw has struggled for playing time this season after recovering from a long-term injury.
Mourinho also confirmed Paul Pogba, who will miss the Manchester derby on Sunday after receiving a red card against Arsenal on Saturday, will feature from start in the encounter against the Russian side.
“I’d have to think,” Mourinho said during his pre-match conference when asked about his team plans.
“I’m going to make a few but not too many changes. We didn’t qualify yet and I need to keep a certain balance in the team. But when you speak about Luke Shaw, you are right.
“He’s working to have an opportunity and sooner or later, the opportunity will arrive, because he deserves that opportunity. Selected for tomorrow, yes, for sure. To start or to be on the bench, I cannot answer.
“We have problems, we have injuries. [Nemanja] Matic is injured and when I say he is injured, he is injured. I am not going to make him play tomorrow so Matic is out. A couple of others guys are playing every match and they also need a rest. More importantly, the others deserve an opportunity to play.
“Zlatan needs sometimes hard work on the muscular area that supports the knee. And when the period for that hard work comes, also the fatigue comes. He was on this cycle of work, divided between the gym and the pitch. He will be out again tomorrow but I believe back to normal work after CSKA.
“Of course, he (Pogba) is a bit tired because it was a huge match at the weekend and just two days to recover for CSKA. But he’s very happy to play and to try to keep his momentum because since he was back from injury, he’s been phenomenal.”
On Lindelof’s form, Mourinho said: “He’s like the team. When the team plays well, he plays well. When the team doesn’t play well, he doesn’t play so well. So the mistakes he had in matches were not mistakes against the level of the team. When he made mistakes it was when the team was playing bad. If the team is playing well, Victor is playing well.”
Lindelof said: “It doesn’t really matter. I’ll play the way the manager wants me and the team to play. For me, it doesn’t matter. I like to play both systems.”
According to UEFA.com permutation, United would qualify in first place with a point and can afford to lose by six goals and still go through. If they lose to CSKA and Basel do not win, United and CSKA will go through with first place determined by head-to-head results between the two.
If CSKA and Basel win, the top two will be decided in a three-way head to head; United would be through unless they lost by seven goals, and would be top unless they lost by five goals.