Manchester United have arrived at the Lowry Hotel on the eve of their final Champions League group fixture of the season.
Jose Mourinho’s side welcome CSKA Moscow to Old Trafford on Tuesday, with their place in the knockout stage of the competition all but secured.
They can, however, still not qualify for the final stages of the competition. Should Basle beat Benfica, and United lose to CSKA, it would go down to results between the three teams.
Mourinho’s men would only not progress through the group if CSKA were to beat United by seven goals in Tuesday’s clash.
Top spot in the group is also guaranteed for United, unless they get thumped by four goals against Viktor Goncharenko’s side.
They will have to fend off the Russian side, who sit third in their domestic table, without the presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who Mourinho confirmed would miss the game.
‘Zlatan is not injured,’ Mourinho said. ‘He needs sometimes very hard work on the muscular area that supporters the knee.
‘When the period with that hard work comes so does the fatigue. These days he cannot play and we decided to do that after Watford.
‘He’s divided between the gym and the pitch and he will be out again tomorrow. He’ll be back to normal after CSKA.’
Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Marouane Fellaini are all still sidelined, but Sergio Romero and Paul Pogba will start at Old Trafford.
Pogba will miss United’s next three Premier League games due to a straight red card against Arsenal last weekend, but Mourinho has no concerns about the Frenchman turning out against CSKA.
‘He’s happy to play tomorrow. It’s the next match, the match that matters. He plays tomorrow,’ said Mourinho.
‘He’s very happy to play and try to keep his momentum because since he was back from his injury he’s been phenomenal.’
Luke Shaw will be named in the squad but Mourinho is still debating whether to give the left back a first start of the season.
‘I’m going to make a few but not too many changes,’ Mourinho added. ‘We haven’t qualified or finished first yet. There are other clubs involved. I need to keep a certain balance.
‘When you speak about Luke you are right, he’s working for an opportunity. Sooner or later it will arrive because he deserves it. Selected tomorrow – yes for sure. To start or be on the bench I cannot answer.’