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Jose Mourinho has confirmed Zlatan Ibrahimovic will lead the line for Manchester United when they take on Anderlecht on Thursday.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has given an early update of Manchester United team that will face Anderlecht in the Europa League on Thursday (13 April) after his side beat Sunderland 3-0 in the Premier League on Sunday.
The former Chelsea boss confirmed this yesterday according to IBTimes stressing further that United will be without Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, and Juan Mata, all out of the squad injured. The report from the British tabloid also illustrates that David De Gea will also miss the clash against the Belgians after getting banjaxed with a hip injury ahead of Sunderland clash.
However, the ‘Special One’ expects the same team that beat David Moyes’ side on Sunday to face Anderlecht with the addition of Antonio Valencia, who missed out on the trip to the Stadium of Light. The Old Trafford is facing an injury crisis in defence as he the team comprises of just two fit central defenders. Mourinho would be hoping his squad can cope with the hectic schedule.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic however, continued his goal-scoring run with is 28 goals in all competitions against Sunderland and will lead the line for his side against Aderlecht. The boss lavish praises on the 35-year-old, who continues to impress despite being in the latter stages of his career.
“We have lots of injuries. I don’t think it’s even possible for us to rotate a lot. Jones, Smalling, Mata, Rooney, Young — all these people are out,” Mourinho said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
“I think Valencia is the only one who can recover to play Thursday. This is our team, the ones who played (vs Sunderland) and the ones on the bench.
“It’s around this that we have to do it. Big effort from the players. No central defenders, just these two [Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly] but we keep fighting,” he added.
“He was very good. Physically he showed amazing conditions and Thursday he will be there again,” added Mourinho. “The guy is showing no problems. He only stopped when he was suspended. He’s looking very fit.”
Manchester United are fighting for a top four finish in the Premier League in the hope of qualifying for the Champions League next season, but can also make it to Europe’s elite competition by winning the Europa League, which is the Portuguese manager’s preferred way to do it.