Manchester United have already played more games than all their rivals both domestically and in Europe. This incredible amount of games which currently stands at 50 including the season opening Community Shield is way more than for example Liverpool who have played just 40 games so far and will only end up playing 47 games at season’s end which is quite a difference from Man United.
United could play another 13 games should they go on and progress to the final of the Europa League which would give them a season total of a whopping 63 games. Playing this many games was bound to take its toll on the team sooner or later and the Red-Devils are lucky they have such a large squad but they have felt the January sales of Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay in the second half of the season more than they perhaps expected to.
A look at the current United sick-bay does not make for much optimism. Striker James Wilson is a known quantity in so much as he has been ruled for the rest of the season for quite some time due to his ACL injury. Other forwards missing include Juan Mata with his pelvis problem which is expected to keep him out for at least another few weeks with a potential return unknown at this time. Captain Wayne Rooney is still out with his ankle problem although the record club goal-scorer could be back any day now – a rare piece of reasonable injury news. Ashley Young could return fairly soon too from his knock but an exact date is not known yet.
The other two injuries are to United’s England international central defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling who are out with a toe injury and a knee problem respectively. The players were actually involved in an incident while training on international duty for England at the last World Cup qualifying break and got crocked at the same time – what a nightmare. These two are arguably the biggest misses for United next to Juan Mata as the central defensive positions are so important and the two players had been in such good form so far this season with Phil Jones particularly impressing after coming back from a long string of injuries.
So Jose Mourinho can only hope that there are no more injuries for him to contend with him as he chases his second piece of silverware as well as that elusive place in the Champions League for next season.