Manchester United are aiming to cut Manchester City’s lead at the top of the Premier League table to 5 points this Sunday. The Red Devils are Pep Guardiola’s side’s closest challengers this season and could bring fresh life into the title race by winning three points at Old Trafford.
Jose Mourinho’s men currently trail neighbours City by 8 points and know that anything other than maximum points will be disastrous to their title aspirations.
In the press conference, Mourinho provided a positive injury update ahead of the mega clash against City. The boss confirmed that Nemanja Matic, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Phil Jones are available for Sunday’s Manchester derby. However, he also said that he’d have to wait to see how Marouane Fellaini’s condition turns out.
Matic played in the 3-1 win at Arsenal last weekend despite not being fully fit but sat out Tuesday’s Champions League game against CSKA Moscow, which United won 2-1, courtesy of Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford’s quick-fire second-half goals.
Veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed both matches due to a bit of fatigue following his return from a long-term knee injury, while centre-back Jones has been out of the team since being injured in the international duty with England. Both of them are back is available for selection on Sunday.
Fellaini, meanwhile, has been trying to shake off a knee problem. However, the Red Devils will be without defender Eric Bailly, midfielder Michael Carrick and Paul Pogba who is suspended for receiving a red card at Emirates.
Following the manager’s confirmation on the return of trio Zlatan, Jones and Matic, United supporters heaved a huge sigh of relief. It’s likely that Fellaini too would be passed fit but Pogba will be a huge miss for the derby. The club’s official Twitter handle tweeted after Mourinho revealed the team news. Let’s have a look at some of the fan reactions on the tweet following the latest team update ahead of the Manchester derby.
💪💪💪💪💪 crush those noisy neighbours lads
— Mchanganuzi Rayoh (@Mchanganuzi1) 8 December 2017
Zlatan hattrick incoming
— Liam Johnson (@LiamJohnson007) 8 December 2017
Manchester is RED 🔴🔴🔴🔴🔴🔴🔴
— Lee Nelson (@booboo_1967) 8 December 2017
Jones a better option for Lindelof
— Raphael Airo (@airo_raphael) 9 December 2017
Good choice! pic.twitter.com/GGldn8xtrv
— B&B (@Bernath_Bendegu) 8 December 2017
I need Herrera in midfield due Pogba’s absence
— Charmz Shaban (@CharmzShaban) 9 December 2017
lol Jones last seen during the Soldiers Memorial weeks.Still got the emblem printed on his jersey.
— Phinias Mandaza (@mandaza305) 8 December 2017
Matic is a bigggg plus.
— Aditya_naik (@aditya_naik) 8 December 2017
Zlatan Ibrahimovic 2-0 City
— Jamyang (@Jamyang40011198) 8 December 2017
With the best of our team. We’re ready for them come what may @ManUtd
— K. Piedu (@QuamePiedu) 8 December 2017