Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho revealed that both Marcus Rashford and Eric Bailly suffered injuries whilst representing their countries during the international break, and that is why they did not start during the Red Devils' goalless draw with Liverpool on Saturday.
The 19-year-old striker, who was fit enough to make an appearance from the substitutes' bench just after the hour mark, was withdrawn from England's 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over Lithuania last Sunday.
Whereas defender Bailly was unable to feature in the squad at all after suffering an unspecified problem whilst away with the Ivory Coast national side.
In the 23-year-old centre back's absence Mourinho opted for the defensive pairing of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, who both did well to neutralise any Liverpool attacking threat throughout the uninspiring 90 minutes of football.
Further up the field, the Portuguese manager was forced to place his faith in Anthony Martial, who took up the vacant left-sided attacking role, but did very little to cause the Merseysiders problems.
Manchester United were already suffering two other midfield casualties prior to the highly anticipated north west clash, with Paul Pogba still sidelined due to a hamstring issue he picked up last month, alongside Marouane Fellaini, who suffered ligament damage during Belgium's World Cup qualification campaign finale.
"I don't think we have many options", Mourinho told Sky Sports.
"Fellaini was injured with the national team, Bailly was injured with the national team and Rashford was injured with the national team. We don't have many options.
"I never complain about that. I was just mentioning it to you because the next question is maybe 'why is Rashford not playing?', 'why is Bailly not even on the bench?'.
"But, okay, since the moment we know the players we have available, we thought about the match and we thought about our options and we made these decisions."
The result leaves United two points adrift of league leaders Manchester City, who convincingly swept aside Stoke City on Saturday.
However, Mourinho will now turn his attention to how many of who out of the three, if any, will be fit enough to take the field this coming Wednesday, when the Red Devils travel to 54-year-old's home nation to take on Benfica in the Champions League.