The Man United stars set to miss start of Premier League as World Cup, injuries deplete squad

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Jose Mourinho has cut a worried figure as United's squad has been depleted.

Manchester United look set to head into their 2018-19 season opener, the Premier League clash against Leicester on August 10, with a significant number of players unavailable.

Nemanja Matic has been ruled out of the fixture at Old Trafford, with the midfielder on an injury list that also features the likes of Antonio Valencia and new signing Diogo Dalot.

Manager Jose Mourinho has indicated he does not expect some of his stars who have been on post-World Cup breaks to be ready for the game either.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the players likely to be missing against the Foxes.

Nemanja Matic

Having been part of Serbia’s World Cup campaign that ended with a group-stage exit, Matic joined up with United’s pre-season tour just over a week ago and trained with the squad. But he did not play in a subsequent 1-1 draw with AC Milan in California and, after the 4-1 loss to Liverpool in Michigan, it was revealed he had left to undergo surgery on an abdominal injury, with Mourinho saying he was “out for the start of the season”.

Marcos Rojo

A few days earlier, Mourinho said he did not know whether defender Rojo, who played in three of Argentina’s four World Cup games as they reached the last 16, would be joining up with the squad on tour as he had had “some physical problem” at the tournament and was with the club’s medical department.

Antonio Valencia

The full-back limped off in the seventh minute of United’s second match of the tour, a 0-0 draw with San Jose Earthquakes, with an apparent calf problem and the club say the issue is expected to keep Valencia sidelined for for the start of the campaign.

Diogo Dalot

Mourinho said before United’s tour opener against Club America that Dalot, signed in June from Porto, would be unavailable for the start of the season due to injury and that it was expected the defender would be “ready for September”.

Paul Pogba

Pogba has been on holiday after helping France win the World Cup. The midfielder played in six of Les Bleus’ seven matches in Russia.

Paul Pogba's triumphant World Cup is delaying his Manchester United return.

Paul Pogba’s triumphant World Cup is delaying his Manchester United return.

Romelu Lukaku

Striker Lukaku was another involved in the tournament up to the final weekend as Belgium came third. His tally at the tournament was also six appearances.

Marouane Fellaini

Lukaku’s Belgium team-mate Fellaini played five times in Russia, starting on three of those occasions.

Jesse Lingard

There were six appearances at the tournament for Lingard as England came fourth.

Ashley Young

The 33-year-old wide man played five times in the Three Lions’ campaign.

Marcus Rashford

Rashford made five substitute appearances and one start for England in Russia. With regard to his post-World Cup break, Mourinho revealed at the weekend the 20-year-old forward, and defender Phil Jones, had decided to “be back a little bit earlier to try and help the team”.

Phil Jones

Jones played twice at the tournament, the full duration of England’s losses to Belgium in the group stage and play-off for third place.

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Under fire Man United boss Jose Mourinho finds unlikely ally in British sprinter

David Cooper 30/07/2018
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Jose Mourinho is under siege from all quarters for his apparent shunning of youth – but the Manchester United boss has found an unlikely ally in British sprinter Adam Gemili.

Mourinho complained that he did not access to ’30 per cent of his squad’ after being forced to rely on his younger players in a 4-1 thumping by Liverpool earlier this week.

His attitude towards them is in stark contrast to Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp – who have both been more than happy to give youngsters some exposure on their pre-season tours.

But Mourinho has been judged unfairly, at least that’s according to former Chelsea academy player Gemili.

The 23-year-old, who won 200m gold at the 2014 European Athletics Championships, was a professional footballer in his teenage years before switching his attention to the track.

Gemili has written on Twitter of Mourinho’s devotion to the younger players while at Chelsea, having been involved in the system during his first stint at the club.

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Youngster Timothy Fosu-Mensah keen on Man United stay

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In action: Fosu-Mensah has featured during the club's pre-season tour of the US.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah wants to remain at Manchester United and fight for his first-team place this coming campaign.

The Netherlands international, who has featured during the Red Devils’ pre-season tour of the United States, spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace but has helped to patch up Jose Mourinho’s threadbare side this summer.

At just 20, the former Ajax youth star’s ability to operate in both defence and midfield is a welcome bonus for a side suffering with a glut of injury problems ahead of their Premier League opener against Leicester City on August 10.

In recent times, Fosu-Mensah has been linked with a move but told reporters following the 4-1 defeat against Liverpool that his future is at Old Trafford.

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