Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has refused to confirm whether Marouane Fellaini will be fit enough to feature in the Champions League opener against Basel. The Belgium international suffered a recurrence of his calf problem following Belgium’s World Cup qualifier against Greece last week.
Speaking to reporters, the Portuguese coach admitted that he feels weaker without Fellaini in his matchday squad, but he is hopeful that his condition improves before Tuesday’s night clash against Basel.
“Fellaini didn’t train yesterday so let’s see if he can today. He’s a very important player for me, much more important than you can imagine. I feel weaker without Fellaini in my squad, it doesn’t matter if it’s on the pitch or if it’s on the bench. So if his condition improves then he will be selected, because I need him but at the moment. But I cannot say yet,” he told reporters.
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez had previously confirmed that Fellaini had recovered from his calf issue prior to the Greece game, and when asked whether it was a recurrence of the problem, Mourinho added: “Yes, he had a problem with his national team and then he played a match against Greece, and after the match he felt the problem.”
Mourinho went with a three-man midfield for the game against Stoke City last weekend, but the match did not go United’s way as they settled for a 2-2 draw.
Ander Herrera failed to make much of an impression in his first start of the campaign, and Mourinho could revert to the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation with Juan Mata likely to return to the lineup.
Manchester United remain unbeaten since the European Super Cup loss to Real Madrid with three wins in the first four games of the new Premier League season.