September 19, 2019

Pogba, Martial fit for Man United, Crystal Palace clash

November 23, 2018
Paul Pogba and Antinio Martial

Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial have been declared fit for Manchester United’s game against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The pair pulled out of France’s squad during the international break due to injuries but Jose Mourinho has insisted they will be available to face Palace, with the manager having almost a full complement of players to choose from.

Only Luke Shaw, who is suspended after picking up five bookings, will be missing.

Pogba missed United’s 3-1 derby defeat to Manchester City with a thigh injury sustained against Juventus while Martial picked up an adductor problem at City that forced his withdrawal from France’s squad for their games against Holland and Uruguay.

Marouane Fellaini and Romelu Lukaku sat out Belgium’s games against Iceland and Switzerland but they have also been declared fit.

Defender Antonio Valencia will be back after being dropped by Mourinho and striker Marcus Rashford is fit despite suffering a knock on England duty.

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“Paul we knew with this break he would recover from that small muscular injury, so we don’t have players I can say are out of the game tomorrow, we have a huge 23 group to choose from tomorrow,” the United manager said.

“Martial stayed with us, he didn’t go to the national team. The national team was aware of his problems and with permission he stayed [with us], he worked really hard on that.

“I like to call that a pre injury – it was the pubis area and with the muscles around it, they are a dangerous situation and he was in a pre injury situation. He worked really hard, he’s ready for tomorrow, he plays for tomorrow.

“Is he ready to play three in a row in the same week? I don’t know, but the most important match is the next.”

Mourinho also said Valencia and Fellaini would play against Palace.

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“Antonio is going to play tomorrow, Fellaini also,” he said. “Fellaini also stayed [with us], no national team. They let him stay in spite of playing 90 minutes against Manchester City.

“He needed to stay and prepare himself better after such an injury that he had before so Marouane is also good.

“The boys in the national teams, Rashford came with a little problem but is ready, Lukaku is ready, I would say ready with a little bit of a risk but ready.”

The derby defeat left United seven points adrift of Spurs in fourth but Mourinho is confident his side will have closed that gap by Christmas.

“I know it’s a big gap but I also know until the end of December, if I’m not wrong, we have eight Premier League matches to play,” he said. “We are speaking about 24 points, 24 points for us to fight for the other ones in the top four to fight too but I believe we are going to be there.”

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