Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is expected to be without seven first-team players when the Red Devils host Southampton in the Premier League. United have dropped points in each of the last two outings, and the manager will surely want a stronger performance versus the Saints, who generally adopt a defensive-minded approach on their travels.
Speaking to MUTV, the Portuguese tactician confirmed that he does not expect the likes of Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Anthony Martial and Chris Smalling in tomorrow’s league outing. Valencia and Smalling sustained hamstring and groin injuries against West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City respectively, whilst both Martial and Darmian are also deemed to be unavailable despite participating in first-team training on Thursday.
Apart from this, midfield pair Michael Carrick (heart procedure) and Marouane Fellaini (knee) are sidelined until the first week of January at the least while Eric Bailly remains the only long-term absentee after having undergone a surgery on his damaged ankle ligaments.
Manchester United are currently 15 points adrift of leaders Manchester City, and the focus, for now, will be on stabilising the second position ahead of the chasing pack. The Red Devils have a key FA Cup tie against Derby County next month, and Mourinho will hope to have most of his injured players back by then.