Jose Mourinho Press Conference Previewing FC Basel

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho met the media a couple hours ago to preview his side’s UEFA Champions League clash at FC Basel tomorrow night, and we have video of the entire session, via YouTube, posted for you below.

A draw or better on Wednesday officially clinches United’s passage through to the competition’s round of 16.

Match odds: Man Utd 21/20, draw 13/5, FC Basel 10/3

Go here for the link to the Chris Smalling press conference video.

Here is the link to our Man United starting XI prediction. For the injury report, go to this link.

Lots of takeaways from this media session including Mourinho commentary on:

-Zlatan Ibrahimovic fitness progression

“Zlatan goes on the bench tomorrow and normally he plays. He needs to play and he’s useful for us. He keeps the ball. If the team isn’t winning, his presence will be important. Instead of 15, he may play 20 or 25 minutes, but he’s not in condition to start.”

-The injury to Phil Jones, and the beef that’s ensued between him and England Manager Gareth Southgate.

“We were not informed about the injections. They communicated with our doctor to tell about a little problem in the knee at the start of the week, after that no contact. I don’t have to speak with Southgate, I just wish good and want him to be successful.”

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-Mourinho diminishing the role of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, as the Armenian’s form has severely declined this season.

“I think that is a bit frustrated for me, the fact that there is always a question about some player who is not playing or in the best of his form.”

“No questions about Martial, no questions about Chris Smalling, it’s always about players in a certain moment, match, period who didn’t play or was not my option. The story is always the thing, in some positions where you don’t have injuries, you don’t have options, and always the same players are playing, in the midfield it was the same a bit.”

“No Carrick, Pogba, Fellaini and every match was Herrera and Matic and the kid McTominay had his opportunities to play. In this moment, we have Pogba, Fellaini, Matic, McTominay, next week I can imagine you will ask why is this player not playing.”

henrikh-mkhitaryan

“I decided to play Rashford and Martial together, the question for many weeks why don’t they play together now it’s why isn’t Mkhitaryan playing. The answer is very simple, until the international board change the rules I can only play 11.”

As always, feel free to post your own MUFC starting XI and match score predictions in the comments sections here.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

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