José Mourinho has confirmed that Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw will not be available for the Premier League game against Tottenham this weekend.
Manchester United take on Spurs hoping to secure only their second league victory in the last six matches. After four draws and one in the last five games, United are certainly in desperate need of three points in order to give them a boost in the top four race. Mourinho recently confirmed that there was little chance of United going on to win the title this season after falling 13 points behind leaders Chelsea even before the halfway stage in the campaign.
Smalling has not played for United since the 4-0 loss against Chelsea back in October. The defender was criticised by Mourinho for not being able to play through the pain barrier. It was the same case with left back Luke Shaw, who has struggled to win the favour of Mourinho ever since the Portuguese took charge from Louis van Gaal in the summer.
It was not long ago that Mourinho tried to sign Shaw when he was the Chelsea manager. Shaw made in a few appearances in November but has not been seen since then. Mourinho do not expect both England players to be available for the game against Spurs.
“Not Sunday, no.Bailly’s absence will be a huge loss. Let’s hope Smalling can recover in time to replace him in the squad because, with so many matches, we need players.At the moment, we have Phil Jones, Bailly and Marcos Rojo [as centre-backs].We play Tottenham, West Brom and Reading, West Ham away [among others] – in that period we have a lot of matches and it is important to have players,” said Mourinho as the club welcomed Eric Bailly back to first team. However, the Ivory Coast star will be heading straight to the African Cup of Nations.