Jose Mourinho smiling during a first-team training session

Early team news for our trip to Chelsea

Wednesday 17 October 2018 08:43

The international break is over and Jose Mourinho is busy formulating his plan for Manchester United's return to action, against joint-Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The domestic campaign will resume with a mouthwatering encounter in west London, where the Reds will take on Maurizio Sarri’s unbeaten Blues at 12:30 BST.

Eleven United players were initially called up for international duty and there were plenty of positives during the break, including goals for Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Eric Bailly, plus an assist for Alexis Sanchez.

Unfortunately, three Reds were forced to officially withdraw due to injuries.

That group included Luke Shaw, who was voted our Player of the Month in both August and September by fans. Former Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic also pulled out of Serbia's squad for their matches against Montenegro and Romania.

Scott McTominay wasn’t involved for Scotland in their 2-1 defeat away to Israel, before the midfielder withdrew from the squad prior to the 3-1 friendly loss to Portugal at Hampden Park.

Everyone is looking forward to Saturday's return to Premier League action against Chelsea.


Diogo Dalot was substituted after 49 minutes on Tuesday night, as Portugal's Under-23s beat Bosnia Herzegovina 4-2 in Madeira. It has been suggested the right-back asked to be taken off as a precaution, but those reports are unconfirmed.

Marouane Fellaini was absent for both of Belgium's matches during the break amid reports that he has a possible hamstring problem.

Meanwhile, Jesse Lingard has missed the last three United games across all competitions, while Ander Herrera has been troubled by an ankle problem over the last two months and hasn’t featured since the Carabao Cup tie with Derby County.

Marcos Rojo, who was injured during the World Cup when representing his country Argentina, has yet to appear for the first team this season but did play 54 minutes for the Under-23s in a 1-1 draw against Reading at Old Trafford last month.

It is not yet known if the aforementioned players will be involved in Saturday’s big game, which is the first meeting of the sides since last season’s Emirates FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

Mourinho could give an update on the squad during his pre-match press conference, which is due to take place on Friday at the Aon Training Complex.

The boss is currently working hard with the players ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge.


The Blues, who have won nine of their 11 games in all competitions this season and sit second in the Premier League table, have almost a fully-fit squad to choose from for United’s visit.

Antonio Rudiger is reportedly a doubt with a groin strain but the defender is expected to be the only concern for manager Sarri, who replaced his fellow Italian Antonio Conte during the summer.

After mainly operating in a back-three under Conte, the Blues have largely reverted to a four-man defence so far this season.

New arrival Jorginho and the revitalised Ross Barkley have joined N’Golo Kante in a midfield trio in recent matches, with Willian and top scorer Eden Hazard supporting former Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud in attack.

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'The games ahead will ask for our best football'


Juan Mata is looking forward to a tough end to October for the Reds in his latest blog entry.

Rashford's on fire... at De Gea's expense


Marcus Rashford scored past David De Gea again on Monday night - and this time he was on the winning side.

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