Published: Wed, February 21, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Too soon to judge Manchester United's Champions League chances, says Jose Mourinho

Too soon to judge Manchester United's Champions League chances, says Jose Mourinho

"I'm very excited to be facing Mourinho, he was a pioneer in football tactics and I studied him a lot when I was starting out as a coach", Montella added.

"I didn't rest one single player, so we had every player available here (against Huddersfield)", the Portuguese manager told reporters after the match.

"But I think for the moment we just have to focus on a very hard opponent, and in the first match of these two knockout games, a match that doesn't decide anything is very important. Well, maybe we can lock him up with a padlock or tie him up with a rope".

Not what's best for Sanchez and Pogba, but what makes the team better.

The French midfielder has struggled for form this season as Manchester United fail to keep tabs on Premier League leaders Manchester City. The next one is against Sevilla.

Ever Banega could feature for Sevilla after recovering from a hamstring injury. Nolito and Joaquin Correa are also in contention for a place in attack.

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"When a player is in that situation it's because the players are normally ready and without problems, so you could see that in training some people that didn't play against Huddersfield with problems, like Pogba, [Antonio] Valencia, [Marcus] Rashford and [Ander] Herrera, so I think in an objective way you could look at it".

Two of the frontrunners for Player of the Year honours in England this season, Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah, were disregarded by Mourinho and sold on the cheap during his time at Chelsea.

Midfield: United are set to welcome Paul Pogba back in to the squad after he missed the Huddersfield game and the French worldwide is expected to make an immediate return to the starting eleven.

Pogba was a late withdrawal from the squad to face Huddersfield on Saturday after being struck down with illness. On the contrary, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has surprisingly joined Pogba on the flight to Spain. And that is why Sevilla are so dangerous.United are expected to win against the side fifth in La Liga, who are undergoing a period of turmoil after the departures in the summer of both their sporting director Monchi, for Roma, and their coach Jorge Sampaoli, for Argentina. However, the Andalusians have recently hit a run of form, despite being put to shame by Eibar at the start of the month. They have good players, a good team and a good mentality for knockout matches.

Man United manager José Mourinho will be looking to win the famous cup for the third time in his managerial career after previous triumphs with Porto and Inter Milan.

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