Manchester United will be without Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick for tonight’s first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie with Saint-Etienne. More frustration for Rooney whose season had more ups and downs than a rollercoaster.
United manager Jose Mourinho said captain Rooney and midfielder Carrick have ‘little muscular problems’ and will not be risked.
Defender Phil Jones is out after sustaining a foot injury in the 0-0 draw with Hull City earlier in the month. More frustration for him too.
There’s disappointment for injury-prone Luke Shaw too as he faces another lay-off, with Mourinho confirming the left-back will be left out of his squad for the fourth consecutive match.
The 21-year-old has returned from a double leg fracture he sustained last season, but has made just one appearance since November.
“He’s not playing tomorrow, because my team is playing well and I am happy with my back four – Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Daley Blind,” Mourinho said, and as quoted on the BBC Sport website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38962487
Saint-Etienne captain Loic Perrin says his side have nothing to lose at Old Trafford and whilst initially thinking this was the worst possible draw, they are now in positive mood.
“Initially we said ‘damn, that’s not the best draw’. But we’re playing in Europe to take part in exactly this type of match,” he said.
Perrin and his teammates are used to facing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored 14 goals against them during his spell at Paris St-Germain. A stat not lost on the French club. But the skipper still thinks Zlatan is the sort of player you ‘dream about’ playing.
“It’s always amazing for us defenders to test ourselves against such world-class players,” added Perrin. “That’s what we all want, always, but at Manchester he’s not the only player of that calibre.”