Manchester United are in action at Brighton & Hove Albion this evening where a victory will secure second place with two games to go.
The hosts are winless in their last seven matches and are only five points above the relegation zone.
Yesterday Jose Mourinho gave a team news and injury update ahead of our trip to the Amex Stadium and explained to the media why Eric Bailly has been absent for our past four games.
The Ivorian centre-back has not featured since our 3-2 win at Manchester City at the beginning of April, though was named on the bench during our 2-0 win at Bournemouth two weeks ago.
Jose confirmed that Bailly isn’t struggling with an injuries but rather that Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof and Marcos Rojo have World Cup ambitions this summer. Ivory Coast failed to qualify for Russia 2018.
The boss told MUTV:
“Bailly is fine, no injury. He is one of our five central defenders and honestly, my work is not about World Cups and preparing players for the World Cup or giving chances to players to do the World Cup, but he’s the only central defender whose country’s not in the World Cup.
“So, if I have to make a kind of more emotional, effective choice to try to help my players, he’s the one I am not going to help until the end of the season. Because, of course, Marcos Rojo, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, all of them are wishing to make the squad for the World Cup and Eric is not under that pressure.”
He went on: “I try to be a good team manager and that means being cold, being selfish, but I am not as bad as that and I still have space for a little bit of feelings. So, when I look to the other four central defenders fighting for a position in the World Cup, I’m giving less [time] to Eric.”
A lengthy ankle injury during the season has limited Eric Bailly to only 11 Premier League appearances and three in the Champions League this season.
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