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Manchester United

Jose gives injury update on Chris Smalling

Nemanja Matic will partner Phil Jones in the middle of our back four for Manchester United at Southampton this evening.

The midfielder has been forced to drop into the centre-back role due to a long list of injuries we have in this position.

This comes as a result of Chris Smalling picking up an injury since Tuesday night’s win over Young Boys in the Champions League. Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof are also sidelined, whilst Marcos Rojo has only been named among the substitutes.

Speaking to MUTV in his pre-match interview, Jose Mourinho confirmed that Smalling is unavailable for this evening’s game at St Mary’s:

“I have only one centre-back. I would like to have Nemanja Vidic, but no Vidic, only Nemanja Matic [smiles] and he’s a midfield player. [Chris] Smalling has a pain in his foot so he is not available to play. Eric Bailly has a pain in his back so he is not available to play. Marcos Rojo trained yesterday for the first time with the group after a long absence and he is not ready to play. He’s ready to help but he is not ready to start. [Victor] Lindelof has an important injury so the only centre-back we have available to play is Phil [Jones].”

Young summer signing Diogo Dalot is on the bench for the first time having arrived at the club injured. Ashley Young starts at right-back and Luke Shaw on the left.

Scott McTominay, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba all start in midfield for us tonight in what appears to be a 4-4-2 diamond formation. Marcus Rashford partnering Romelu Lukaku up front.