Monday, 11 December, 2017

Man United's Eric Bailly ready for 'dream' Champions League debut

Nemanja Matic GETTY Nemanja Matic was not substituted at Southampton
Elias Hubbard | 28 September, 2017, 00:38

Midfielders Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini joined Paul Pogba on the sideline, while manager Jose Mourinho confirmed that centre-back Phil Jones will also miss the encounter. The reasoning for this is because of Golvin not being present in the game, with the young midfielder replaced by Israeli International Bibras Natkho, who himself didn't have the greatest of games.

Manager, Viktor Goncharenko, will be hopeful of ending four years of hurt this time around as they have a relatively decent group, with Benfica and Basel being the other two teams in Group A.

United had to grind out a 1-0 win on the south coast last weekend and Mourinho has told his players they have to be patient and learn to deal with the opposition having spells of dominance from time to time.

Jose Mourinho's side touched down in Russian Federation last night without Jones in their 20-man squad and the England global has been left in the north-west. If included in the playing XI it will be Bailly's Manchester United debut in the Champions League. Indeed, Ander Herrera made his return to the side, having only made three league starts this season, while Anthony Martial was brought back into the fray.

"I don't think his movement is unbelievable in the box, but when you're bigger and stronger than everyone else and you can get your arm across a shoulder like this and just nearly pin your defender down, it's not a foul, that's football". Having defeated Rostov 2-0, CSKA then flew out of the Cup of Russian Federation from the modest Vanguard - 0-1, and in the last match played a zero draw with Moscow's Dynamo.

They also have a fairly decent record on this ground in this competition too - losing just two of their last dozen in front of their own fans, and that includes draws against Monaco, Manchester United, Roma and Manchester City, and victories over Sporting Lisbon and PSV.

Mkhitaryan was speaking at United's pre-match press conference, where traditionally the player who talks to the media goes on to start the upcoming game. Though Mourinho and co. have had a rip-roaring start to the season, winning seven of their last eight games, the busy next four days will have to be endured without some absentees. We try to focus on the bigger picture.

Martial had slotted home a penalty in between Lukaku's goals and Henrikh Mkhitaryan added a fourth in the second half to give United a maximum six points from their opening two matches.

"We don't have Fellaini, we don't have Pogba and we don't have Carrick, all three midfield players we lose for this match, so there are not many solutions", said Mourinho.

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