Jose Mourinho says he could make a surprise inclusion in the Manchester United line-up to face CSKA Moscow.
Mourinho confirmed Paul Pogba will start against the Russians at Old Trafford with United knowing they will win Group A as long as they avoid a four-goal defeat.
Pogba was red carded at the win at Arsenal and Mourinho refused to confirm whether United had appealed the decision, but he did say the mercurial midfielder will start and so may one otther surprise name.
“All the other players that didn’t play the last match are still out,” said Mourinho.
“I can make a surprise tomorrow and the one that is unavailable, he plays.”
Mourinho said Michael Carrick and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were still missing and Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marouane Fellaini and Nemanja Matic were the absentees at Arsenal.
“Zlatan is not injured. He needs to work very hard on the muscular area that supports the knee that had the problem. When that hard work comes, so does fatigue,” said Mourinho
“He was on this cycle of work, divided between the gym and the pitch. And he will be out again for tomorrow but I believe back to normal work after CSKA.”
Asked whether United would be distracted by Sunday’s derby date with City, he said: “Easy, easy. We are used to it. It’s just the next match, we don’t think about the next, next. Its just about tomorrow.
“I will make a few but not too many changes.”
The United boss went on to claim that Matic would not be the surprise inclusion.
“We have problems, we have injuries. [Nemanja] Matic is injured and when I say he is injured, he is injured. I am not going to make him play tomorrow so Matic is out. A couple of others guys are playing every match and they also need a rest. More importantly, the others deserve an opportunity to play,” added Mourinho.
Luke Shaw is included in the squad for tomorrow’s Champions League game, but Mourinho admitted he had not decided what part the left-back, if any, would play.
“I’d have to think,” said Mourinho.
“I’m going to make a few but not too many changes. We didn’t qualify yet and I need to keep a certain balance in the team. But when you speak about Luke Shaw, you are right. He’s working to have an opportunity and sooner or later, the opportunity will arrive, because he deserves that opportunity.
“Selected for tomorrow, yes, for sure. To start or to be on the bench, I cannot answer.”