Paul Pogba is a doubt for Manchester United in their Champions League Round of 16 second leg tie against Sevilla at Old Trafford.
The France international sat out training on Monday, having been forced to withdraw from United’s game against Liverpool on Saturday after picking up a knock in training.
United were still able to beat their bitter rivals 2-1, despite Pogba’s absence, but now it seems that the Frenchman will miss out on what Jose Mourinho considers a “more important game than Liverpool”.
United could also be missing Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera and Daley Blind, all of whom also sat out the training session while nursing knocks.
United’s game against Los Rojiblancos kicks off an important week for the club, with a Sixth round FA Cup tie against Brighton to follow on Saturday.
Mourinho’s side weren’t able to find a breakthrough when the two sides met at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán last month, but he will feel confident that his side will find a way through to the quarter finals at Old Trafford.
Since the first leg, Sevilla have lost two and won two in La Liga, showing grave inconsistencies in their performances. Meanwhile, United have won all of their games, including wins over Liverpool and Chelsea.
The Red Devils have only lost to one team at home in over two years, that being Premier League leaders and current market leaders for the Champions League title, Manchester City. Sevilla have also struggled slightly on the road this season, firmly putting United as favourites in this tie.
Sevilla are expected to field a makeshift backline, while former City winger Jesús Navas won’t travel to Manchester.
Considering the battle of the managers, Mourinho has managed to turn the Theatre of Dreams back into a fortress this season, reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson’s time at the club. He also possesses a wealth of time and experience over Sevilla manager Vincenzo Montella, 49, who joined Sevilla in December.
Montella was with Milan for the first half of the season, but was replaced by Gennaro Gattuso in November after a less than inspiring spell, despite spent over €150million in the summer.
With players in form, Mourinho will be in the driving seat for the fixture, but will need to ensure his side don’t get too complacent. In his pre-game press conference, Mourinho explained that he doesn’t feel his side have an advantage. He said;
“I don’t think we are one of the best teams in the competition. But I think when a team arrives in the last eight, anything can happen.
I think when you are in the last 16, it looks really, really far. But when a team gets in the last eight, you start smelling semi-finals and I think when a team gets into the last eight, the feeling is, of course, you are among the best. But anything can happen, so let’s see what happens tomorrow.
I think tomorrow is a very difficult match. I think we’re playing against a team that didn’t lose against Liverpool home and away – scored goals in Liverpool and drew the match in Liverpool and when I say Liverpool, it’s an example of a very good team and an example of an important stadium with big tradition.
When I say Liverpool, it is just to say that Sevilla is a really good team and the result of the first leg is a result that leaves everything open for tomorrow. I don’t feel that we have any advantage in this moment. We are going to try to prove that we are better [than the first leg] and to try to win the match tomorrow. But the reality in this moment is that we have no advantage at all.”
Manchester United v Sevilla kicks off at 7:45pm this evening, and will be shown live on BT Sport 2.