Early team news: Tottenham v United
With so many players fit and competing for places, Jose Mourinho has admitted he has a selection headache ahead of Manchester United’s Premier League blockbuster against Tottenham Hotspur.
That means the only unavailable players are long-term absentees Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“We have no more injuries,”Mourinho happily revealed to us.
“It was a tough match at Yeovil, a difficult match, difficult conditions, but everything is good.”
Asked if that presents a healthy problem for him, the boss responded:
“Sure. The real headache is when you don’t have the players, so when you have so many injuries then you are in trouble. When almost everybody is available and the quality is high, these are the good problems to have.”
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United have stepped up preparations for the trip to Wembley Stadium.
“We have managed to win every match in January, I think three Premier League matches and two cup matches, so five victories makes a happy camp. We are playing with a good balance. It is not easy to not concede goals because of the high quality of football in this country. Scoring goals and winning matches is very important because we need points. We are playing well and we deserved these results.”
Wednesday’s match against fifth-place Tottenham will notably be played at Wembley, due to Spurs being without a permanent home while their new stadium is being built in north London.
United have an excellent record at the national stadium in recent seasons and Mourinho has won twice there as Reds boss, although the ground was neutral on both of those occasions. That won’t be the case this week and Jose knows that will provide the opposition with an advantage.
“I was at Wembley for Tottenham versus Chelsea and I had that feeling that Wembley is Spurs’ home, because it was full of their supporters. I am used to going to Wembley when it is 50/50 with supporters, so it was the first time I went like that. It is an amazing stadium and one for us to enjoy.”
“They are one of the top teams in the country. Not a title contender because they are too far away. But I say honestly they are a Champions League contender, they can reach that level. They have some of the best players in the country, a very good manager and a very difficult opponent.”
“It is a big game, a really big game. The difference between us and Spurs is seven or eight points, but the reality is they are a top team in terms of their quality and ambitions, and a team of our level, so it is a big match.”