Manchester United will be without Eric Bailly, Marouane Fellaini and Phil Jones for Saturday’s game at Arsenal, with Nemanja Matic also a doubt for the trip to the Emirates.
Jose Mourinho now faces an anxious wait to see if some of his key players will be available for the critical Manchester derby at Old Trafford the following weekend, with Manchester City currently eight points clear at the top of the table.
Bailly and Jones have not played since the defeat at Chelsea on November 5 after picking up injuries on international duty. Fellaini pulled out of Tuesday’s win at Watford with a knee injury, and Matic limped off with a muscle problem.
‘Matic is a doubt,’ said Mourinho after confirming that Jones and Bailly are out. ‘I hope he can but I cannot guarantee he is selected to go Let’s see the feeling before the match, let’s see the warm-up. I hope he can, I want to, he wants to, but I cannot guarantee and Fellaini is not travelling with the team.’
The defeat at Chelsea extended Mourinho’s poor away record against the established Big Six. They head for the Emirates on a run of four defeats and three draws in seven games away to their main rivals, scoring just once and conceding nine.
Mourinho has been criticised for being too pragmatic but insisted that his team will attack and defend with conviction.
He said: ‘When we have the ball we are going to attack with 11 players because the goalkeeper knows what to do when we have the ball and when Arsenal have the ball we will defend with 11.
‘It depends with what you think about risk. I think in the beginning of football, the guy who decides to say defenders and attackers, this guy was bad. Because everybody has to defend and attack, especially in modern football.
‘So for me you can say what you want, my goalkeeper needs to know what to do when his team has the ball, how to attack, and my striker needs to know how to defend and what to do, this is simple, for me is simple.’
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