There was a mix of good and bad news for Manchester United with respect to their casualty list ahead of a mammoth Premier League clash with arch-rivals Liverpool, as Jose Mourinho revealed centre-back Eric Bailly is fully fit and central midfielder Marouane Fellaini is available but winger Anthony Martial could miss out.
“Yeah, he (Bailly) was fully fit for a couple of weeks. Yeah, but he’s okay. The only one that is back to the team is (Marouane) Fellaini,” Mourinho told his pre-match press conference on Friday.
With both sides effectively chasing second spot, the tie at Old Trafford has more at stake than just bragging rights and after last year’s damp squib that took place at Anfield (a 0-0 draw), neither side is likely to settle for a solitary point.
“It’s basically the same (squad),” the Portuguese added as he continued, “The people injured are recovering step by step and a few of them are very, very close to a return – but not yet. We are fine, we have a squad ready for everything. The number we choose – 23 – was to protect them and we are coping with that”.
The fact that Bailly is fully fit at last bodes well for the Red Devils for they face an in-form Liverpool side at home, with their attack triumvirate of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane perhaps the finest in English football at the moment.
While the United boss did not specifically comment on star midfielder Paul Pogba’s availability, there are unconfirmed reports doing the rounds that the Frenchman pulled up in Friday’s training session and is an injury doubt for Saturday’s clash.
With Fellaini back in the fold, Pogba’s injury blow is softened somewhat but the club-record signing could still make the XI if he passes a late fitness test.
Pogba had injured his hamstring in 2017 and missed a significant chunk of the campaign but United have not yet confirmed whether the flashy midfielder will play on Saturday or not.