Manchester United get their FA Cup campaign underway later today, as the Red Devils host Derby Counter at Old Trafford under the floodlights.
Jose Mourinho’s men got back to winning ways last time out against Everton in the Premier League, which would have been a great confidence-booster. Now, this fixture against Championship opposition presents us with an excellent opportunity to start as we mean to go on in the oldest competition in English football.
Ahead of that match, Mourinho met reporters for his pre-match press conference, and gave us all some hugely encouraging injury news.
The self-proclaimed Special One confirmed that Romelu Lukaku is back fit and ready to play, while Marouane Fellaini, who has been out for quite some time, is also ready to return.
On top of that, Michael Carrick is back in training, although he won’t feature this weekend, with Antonio Valencia not too far away from making his return.
“Romelu is back,” Jose told reporters, including ManUtd.com. “As I said it was not a concussion, it was a precaution, a protection for him. He wanted to play against Everton, but this time he is back.”
“From the injured players, Fellaini is back. And Michael Carrick is back to training, not to competition, but is back to training with the team. Antonio Valencia will be back to the team next week, so he is not playing tomorrow but will be back to the team next week. The situation is improving for us.”
This is a huge boost for everyone. It gives Mourinho more options in regards to team selection, and it allows him to rest key players when he sees fit. Lukaku is up there with the best strikers in the country, with Valencia arguably the best right-back in the Premier League – the sooner these two return to playing regular football, the better.
Then we have Fellaini who has been a brilliant asset to have, particularly from off the substitutes bench. And we all know what Carrick can do…