Manchester United are back in Premier League action after the team’s break in Dubai.
Jose Mourinho used the opportunity of a rare few days off to take his squad for a warm weather training camp and they arrived back in Manchester in good spirits.
United won their first two games of the calendar year, away to Everton and at home against Derby County in the FA Cup, and will look to make it a hat-trick against Stoke – who have just announced the appointment of Paul Lambert as their new manager.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is with the squad, and could get a chance to impress amid United’s transfer interest in Alexis Sanchez , after Mourinho said he would ‘probably’ figure against the Potters.
Paul Pogba, David de Gea and Nemanja Matic are also expected to start, while Michael Carrick could also return to the United squad for the first time since September.
Live streaming EPL manchester united vs Stoke City 16.2018
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed Antonio Valencia is fit to return from injury in Monday night’s Premier League match against Stoke City at Old Trafford.
The Ecuador international has not featured since suffering a hamstring injury during the 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on 17 December.
The stand-in captain trained all week during the warm-weather camp in Dubai and the manager revealed during his pre-match press conference that he is now “ready to play” against Stoke. Meanwhile, the Potters have confirmed Paul Lambert as their new manager but Eddie Niedzwiecki will be in temporary charge this evening.
Jose also stated Anthony Martial is a doubt when asked if everyone is fit for the game. “Martial is not ready, but I hope he can play. Plus, the other ones that are unavailable.”
Earlier in the press conference, Mourinho admitted Henrikh Mkhitaryan is set to play against Stoke when asked about the Armenian’s future and reports that he may move away from Old Trafford.
“My approach to players is that every player has a price,” the boss said. “It doesn’t matter who he is, it doesn’t matter the level, the prestige, the status. I think every player has a price. I’m not the kind of blind manager. Blind in the sense of this player is untouchable, that this player we can never sell.
“I think every player has a price. So when the transfer window is open, it’s also open for any club that is interested in our players, then it is up to us to make a decision: yes or no. It’s up to us to decide what we think is the right price.
“But Mkhitaryan, he played the last match in the cup and probably will play the next one. So it’s a little bit the same in relation to other players who are involved in this gossip of the transfer window. He is our player. He’s a very good player. Saturday he is training, Sunday selected and Monday play.”