Sunday 18 February 2018

Jose Mourinho plays down Anfield showdown as two Man United stars ruled fit to play in Monday Night Football

Jose Mourinho wants both sets of fans to be respectful during Monday night's game
Jose Mourinho wants both sets of fans to be respectful during Monday night's game
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United have received a big boost ahead of Monday’s crunch game against Liverpool, after both Luke Shaw and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were declared to be fit for selection by manager Jose Mourinho.

Shaw and Mkhitaryan were mentioned as possible absentees in the build-up to one of the most eagerly anticipated games of the season so far, but the duo have come through fitness checks are preparing with a full strength United squad for the trip to Anfield.

Mourinho reported no fresh injuries from the international break and that leaves him with selection dilemmas in a variety of positions, with Mkhitaryan one of several options he will consider in the midfield.

The United boss also has to decide whether he will bring Shaw straight back into his team, after he questioned the young full-back following a mistake that led to a goal in his last appearance at Watford.

Mourinho was lambasted for singling out Shaw for criticism following the Watford loss, as it later emerged that he picked up the injury that has kept him out since in the build-up to that goal.

Meanwhile, Mourinho has moved to play down the significance of this clash with Liverpool, as he suggested it was too early in the season for it to be significant in the title race.

"They are a good team," he said of Liverpool. "I played many times against Liverpool, many times against Man Utd. I understand the dimension of the clubs and now I understand better the dimension of two big historical clubs.

"But for me, the season is not about the match at Anfield. The season is about many points to win, many points to lose and targets to achieve.

"I always like to play at Anfield. I won many times there. I also lost. I won big matches, I lost big matches, but I like to go there. I like the atmosphere.

"You cannot compare the historical rivalry of my previous club (Chelsea) and Liverpool. I look forward to this."

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