Man United are in the grip of an injury and suspension 'crisis' but look at the team they can pick this weekend
Manchester United have suffered more than most during an international break that has ended with a string of new injuries for manager Jose Mourinho to contend with, but he should still be able to name a formidable line-up for Saturday’s Premier League game against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford.
Phil Jones picked up a toe injury in an England training session last week, with his team-mate Chris Smalling also limping away from England duty with his right leg in a brace.
Meanwhile, Marouane Fellaini has returned from his stint with Belgium carrying a toe injury, with the hamstring problem picked up by Paul Pogba before the cessation in Premier League action for World Cup qualifiers likely to rule the Frenchman out of action this weekend.
Wayne Rooney is also a doubt as he struggles to regain full fitness, with suspensions for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera ensuring Mourinho has had plenty to ponder since his side’s last game at Middlesbrough on March 19th.
Yet a glance at the options available to the United manager confirm he has plenty of players to select from, even if Pogba, Fellaini and Rooney fail to recover in time for the game against the Baggies.
While his substitutes bench may be a little light on experienced back-up, Mourinho has plenty of names capable of slotting into what could be a dynamic 4-5-1 formation.
With David De Gea in goal and Marcos Rojo forming a centre-back partnership with Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian could be in reserve if Mourinho looks to make changes to a back four completed by Ashley Young and Daley Blind.
The veteran Michael Carrick looks set to play in a central role in a defensive midfield position that has been greatly weakened by United’s absentees, with Timothy Fosu-Mensah another contender to play in a holding midfield.
Alternatively, Mourinho may ask Juan Mata or Henrikh Mkhitaryan to played a more reserved role in his midfield, with United’s attacking options plentiful as they will have Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford at his disposal.
The star names still available to United despite their injury and suspension woes confirms that this is a squad more than capable of withstanding a few big names absentees and with a second Premier League game coming up against Everton at Old Trafford next Tuesday, Ibrahimovic will make a welcome return from his three-match ban.
United’s ‘injury crisis’ has been the topic of conversation in recent days, but most Premier League clubs would jump at the chance to name this team.