Manchester United face Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday in what is pretty much a must-win game for the Red-Devils if they want to stay in touch with the leading clubs in the Premier League. Needless to say Jose Mourinho needs all the options he can have available to him in the quest to secure a most valuable 3 points against rivals Tottenham.
United are coming off their 2-0 win in Odessa on Thursday night where they beat Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk with a solid performance to qualify for the round of 32 in the Europa League. While United escaped further injury on a cold night in Odessa they are still suffering from a 3 injuries to key players.
Long-term absentee, striker James Wilson sustained a nasty anterior cruciate ligament injury while on loan at Championship side Derby County back in October and if fit could have provided a good goal option off the bench. The unlucky youngster required surgery to fix the problem and as a result is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines with his return not likely to happen this season. As he has youth on his side the hope is that Wilson will be able to make a full recovery and come back as good as new but it will need a long and dedicated period of rehabilitation.
Luke Shaw suffered that horrific leg-break last season when he was the victim of a very dangerous tackle from PSV Eindhoven’s Hector Moreno. Shaw has come back to fitness but has been going through some niggles this season and sustained the latest problem in the EFL Cup quarter-final against West Ham. Shaw’s latest issue is reported as just a knock so his return should happen soon. Jose Mourinho is keen to get the young left-back into top shape but needs to get him playing in a good run of games – something which Shaw’s injuries this campaign have not allowed yet. Hopefully the player’s luck changes and allows him to become a fixture in each match-day squad again.
The last of United’s current injuries is to centre-back Chris Smalling who has been sidelined since the team’s nightmarish 4-0 Premier League loss at the hands of Mourinho’s former club Chelsea back on October 23rd. Smalling has a broken toe and will end up missing over 2 months with the problem as he is not projected to return until after Christmas. Fortunately for United, centre-backs Phil Jones and Eric Bailly have recently recovered from their injuries and returned to the first team squad in Smalling’s absence so a defensive crisis has been averted.
United have certainly not had the rub of the green when it comes to their Premier League results based on the performances they have produced but at least injuries are not currently a big issue. Jose Mourinho will be looking for another good performance against Spurs on Sunday but hopefully this time it will lead to United securing all 3 points.