Luke Shaw set to start for Man United against Swansea in u-turn by Jose Mourinho

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho suggested Luke Shaw is in line for a reprieve against Swansea amid continuing speculation about the duo’s relationship.

The 22-year-old left-back started United’s FA Cup quarter-final win against Brighton before the international break, only to be hauled off at half-time, with his frustration compounded by his manager’s post-match comments.

That was just the latest issue between Mourinho and Shaw, with reports suggesting the England international will leave Old Trafford this summer.

However, the left-back is in line to be involved against Swansea on Saturday and could even start if Ashley Young does not overcome his knee complaint.

“If he’s available or unavailable, Luke Shaw is always an option,” Mourinho said.

“Ashley Young was available to play against Brighton and I started with Luke Shaw, so that’s not a problem.”

Young is a doubt due to the issue he sustained towards the end of England’s 1-1 draw with Italy, while back-up goalkeeper Sergio Romero is out for a “few weeks” after being involved in a collision on Argentina duty.

Daley Blind is back in training after injury but not available to feature against Swansea, but Phil Jones, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo and Scott McTominay are in contention.

However, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is obviously one less option for United after completing his move to the LA Galaxy.

“He’s a huge, big player that top football, European football is losing now – and will lose forever because he will not be back to this level of football,” Mourinho said.

“But fantastic for him in this period, I think it is a fantastic way for him not to go from being a player to being a former player.

“I think this period with Galaxy, these couple of years, probably will be very good for him and American football.

“Because what he can do, what he can teach, what he can attract, his personality, passion for football, the level of professionalism he always has.

“Even his recovery was an example of what a professional should be, I think (what) MLS and the US as a football country is going to get is more than what Zlatan is going to get.

“Because for him I think it will be just a way for him to enjoy the last year or last couple of years of his football.”

Carlos Carvalhal 2

United have won twice without conceding at Swansea this season, but they arrive at Old Trafford in far better form under Carlos Caravahal.

The Portuguese has also been making headlines with his expressive press conference comments, saying ahead of this match that Mourinho was “our king of football”.

“I spoke with him last night – he said I was the king of the coaches, not the king of football,” the United boss said.

“And he said that since my winning period with Porto, and since the moment I left the country, I opened the door for more Portuguese coaches to leave, which is something that I know is true.

“But I speak with Carlos a couple of times every week. This week was not different.

“So last night we spoke a little and I thanked him for his nice words because one thing is to think, and one thing is to say.”

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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino standing by Dele Alli amid criticism of form

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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino reckons Dele Alli is being put under too much pressure.

Alli, who Pochettino recently called the best player in the world for his age, has struggled to hit the heights of the last two seasons on a consistent basis this time around.

He played just 22 minutes of England’s two friendlies against Holland and Italy, leading to Gareth Southgate to suggest his starting place at the World Cup was far from certain.

But Pochettino believes his midfielder gets unfair criticism for someone who is still only 21.

The Spurs boss said: “I have full confidence in him and his talent and because I know him – he is a great kid and a very good person.

“But he is young. He is 21. If you compare with normal people on the street who are 21, they are still living at home with their parents, they are still at university doing stupid things.

“Sometimes we expect too much and we put too much pressure on 21-year-old players. Sometimes we forget and treat them like 40-year-old men.
“It’s not like this. We need to be focused on him being still a kid. It’s a lot of pressure on his shoulders and not always can he act how the people and the society expect. That is so important to understand.

“We are going to help him because he is a talented player and a great kid.

“And he has done a lot for us and the club.

“The problem is that in the last two seasons, he was unbelievable, amazing.

“Younger players always have ups and downs. Expectation was massive because he was always increasing his level and improving and improving.

“This season the expectation was massive, maybe too high.

“For me he is one of the most talented players in Europe.”

Pochettino could do with Alli regaining his best form as Spurs prepare for the run-in to the season that has them going for Champions League qualification and the FA Cup.

A potentially pivotal game in the race for the top four comes at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, where if Spurs beat Chelsea they will go eight points ahead of them.

And if they are to end a 28-year hoodoo at Chelsea then they might have to do it without leading scorer Harry Kane.

Pochettino was coy whether the striker would be available, just three weeks after injuring ankle ligaments, unable to say definitively whether he would be fit or not.

There was no doubt in Pochettino’s mind just what a battler Kane is.

“It’s not about his body, it’s about his brain,” the Argentine added.

“The most important muscle that he has is his brain. He’s so determined, so positive.”

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte insists Tottenham can cope without Harry Kane

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Tottenham have shown they can cope without injured star striker Harry Kane, according to Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.

England international Kane is a major doubt for Spurs’ Premier League trip to Stamford Bridge after sustaining ankle ligament damage three weeks ago.

The 24-year-old was expected to be sidelined until at least next month, but Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has refused to rule him out of Sunday’s clash.

While Conte is full of admiration for Kane, he feels Spurs are dangerous opponents with or without their top goalscorer.

“I think that we are talking about one of the best strikers in the world. I consider him one of the best strikers in the world,” said Conte.

“When you have a player, a striker, who scores 30 goals every season, for sure when he’s missing you can feel this. But, at the same time, Tottenham are an important team for the whole team.

“They have many important players, many talented players. They play good football with great intensity. Also, in the past, they showed that, despite Kane missing many games, nothing has changed.”

Kane, winner of the Premier League golden boot for the past two seasons, has been in prolific form once again this campaign.

He hit 35 goals for Spurs in all competitions before his injury in the recent win at Bournemouth. Chelsea’s strikers, in contrast, have struggled to find the net on a regular basis.

Alvaro Morata has not managed a Premier League goal since Boxing Day, while January signing Olivier Giroud is still waiting for his first league strike since joining from Arsenal.

Morata’s poor form saw him left out of Spain’s squad during the international break, although Conte has backed the former Real Madrid player to enjoy a productive end to the season.

“I think that, in the last week and this week, he has worked very well,” the Italian coach said of Morata.

“I think that he needed to work hard because, don’t forget, Alvaro was out for one and a half months with his back problem.

“Now Alvaro is really fit, 100 per cent, and ready to have an important final of the season: for Chelsea and then, for him, to have the chance to go and play in the World Cup.”

While Spurs are hoping Kane can make a remarkable comeback, Chelsea also have injury concerns regarding key players.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois faces a late assessment on a hamstring problem picked up before he went away with Belgium, while centre-back Andreas Christensen was sent back to west London by Denmark due to muscle fatigue.

Conte also confirmed he will definitely be without defender David Luiz for at least another three weeks because of a knee issue and that midfielder Ross Barkley will play with the under-23 side this weekend to improve his fitness.

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