Jose Mourinho is facing an injury crisis ahead of Manchester United’s clash against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday (1 April), with seven first-team players unavailable through injury or suspension.
The Portuguese manager of Premier League club Manchester United manager will be without Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini, who are injured and unlikely to be fit for the Baggies’ visit, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera will serve the second of their three match suspension.
Wayne Rooney has also been out with a knee injury for the last three weeks and remains a doubt, but according to the Mirror, the England international is the closest to making a return and could be fit ahead of the clash at Old Trafford.
Mourinho will have Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo available to cover gap left by his two centre-backs, but faces a crisis in midfield with Michael Carrick the only available midfielder. The manager will hope that Rooney can return in time and provide cover alongside the former Tottenham Hotspur star.
The 31-year-old United skipper has struggled for game time in recent months, playing just 183 minutes in the league since mid-January. The current midfield crisis could be an opportunity for Rooney to force himself back into the manager’s plans.
With United are facing a crucial run of fixtures in the coming months, Mourinho will need all the players available as they fight on two fronts. The Red Devils will play nine games in 30 days with spots in the last four stages of the Europa League and a place in the Premier League top four up for grabs.
The 20-time English champions are currently in fifth place – four points behind Liverpool. But United have played two games less and can leapfrog their rivals providing they win both their games, one of which is a Manchester derby.