Manchester United are expecting to have Antonio Valencia back for their Europa League quarter-final match against Anderlecht.
Valencia has missed two matches with an ankle problem but Jose Mourinho is counting on him for Thursday’s first leg in Belgium.
Sergio Romero is set to continue in goal after David de Gea missed Sunday’s 3-0 Premier League win at Sunderland with a minor hip injury, while United’s other absentees – Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Juan Mata and captain Wayne Rooney – are all still out.
“We played with the players available [against Sunderland],” Mourinho said to MUTV.
“Not one single player stayed in Manchester because we were thinking about resting them, or because we were thinking about rotation or about Anderlecht. Not at all.
“These are the players available at the moment and, when I look to the others, I just expect Valencia to be ready to play and no more, I don’t think.
Antonio Valencia is expected to return for Thursday’s game v Anderlecht. pic.twitter.com/LUDtKqB6RF
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 10, 2017
“I don’t think any one of the other boys will be ready to play.
“De Gea’s injury is not serious and Romero every time he plays he plays so well. The fans are used to having Romero in goal in the Europa League – that becomes the most important competition for us after winning the League Cup.
“The Europa League is the competition we can still win, so when Sergio plays in the Europa League and when we are giving him this confidence to play, it’s because we know that his answer is positive. He looked like he was really comfortable against Sunderland.”
Valencia has played 35 matches across all competitions for United this season.
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