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15th Mar 2017

Manchester United’s striker shortage will continue for Rostov return leg

United can progress with a win or a goalless draw

Tom Victor

Manchester United manager José Mourinho has confirmed that only one of the three forwards who missed the FA Cup defeat to Chelsea will return in time for their Europa League meeting with Rostov.

Marcus Rashford started the 1-0 loss as the lone striker, with Zlatan Ibrahimović missing the game through suspension and Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney both sitting out the quarter-final after picking up injuries.

And Mourinho told the media that Ibrahimović – whose ban only applies to domestic games – would be the only member of the trio to return to the squad for Thursday’s game.

“If we are injured for the Monday night then you are inured for the Tuesday morning session training session, and then you cannot play on Thursday,” Mourinho said in a press conference.

“We have the same players we had in the last match plus Ibrahimović returning to the Europa League.”

United drew the first leg of their last-16 tie in Russia, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s first-half goal cancelled out by Aleksandr Bukharov after the break.

They have one more game before the upcoming international break – a Premier League trip to Middlesbrough on Sunday – and Mourinho did not divulge whether Rooney or Martial could return for that fixture.

Martial scored one of United’s two goals in the reverse fixture against Aitor Karanka’s team, in which the Red Devils came from behind to win 2-1.

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