Tuesday 16 January 2018

Jose Mourinho confirms key Manchester United stars will be rested for Arsenal game

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: Reuters
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: Reuters

Miguel Delaney

Jose Mourinho has confirmed he will rest key players for Manchester United’s Premier League match at Arsenal on Sunday, to try and make sure his side are fresh to eliminate Celta Vigo in the following Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second leg.

United claimed a fine 1-0 win at the Spanish team’s Balaidos stadium in the first leg thanks to an excellent Marcus Rashford free-kick but, despite that strong position, the Portuguese said he was willing to rest players because of the amount of minutes some have played from the nine games over April.

“The players that are in accumulation, the players that are with lots of minutes, because we played nine matches in April and this one, so 10 matches in four and a half weeks, the players in accumulation, they are not going to play next weekend,” Mourinho confirms.

That likely means that both Rashford and Paul Pogba - who was also excellent against Celta Vigo - could sit out Sunday’s match.

Given all that, it was entirely predictable that Mourinho refused to say United had more than a 50-50 chance of making the final in Stockholm.

“One-nil is really a narrow result,” the United boss stated. “It could have been better, and seeing Celta's trajectory in the Europa League, they definitely deserve respect for the away match.”

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