Jose Mourinho Insists Man Utd Are Focused Only on CSKA Ahead of Huge Manchester Derby

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has insisted that his players are fully focused on this week's Champions League game against CSKA on Tuesday night, rather than looking ahead to the weekend's eagerly awaited derby clash local rivals Manchester City.

City remain eight points clear at the top of the Premier League after snatching a third late winner in as many domestic games on Sunday and even have the chance to break the Premier League record for consecutive wins, held by Arsenal and Chelsea at 13, at Old Trafford next weekend.

United can of course derail that attempt, inflict City's first defeat of the season, and cut the gap to the top for five points if they can take all three points, but Mourinho has declared that facing CSKA is the only thing the players and coaching staff are interested in for now.


"It's just the next match [we are thinking about]. We don't think about the next one [after that], it's just about tomorrow," the United boss explained as he face the press on Monday.

Only a very heavy loss at the hands of CSKA, combined with a Basel win over Benfica, would see United not qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions League, but Mourinho is taking the game as seriously as ever.

Paul Pogba is suspended for the next three Premier League games following his red card against Arsenal, but he will feature against the Russians.


"Of course, he's a bit tired because it was a huge match at the weekend and just two days to recover for CSKA. But he's very happy to play and to try to keep his momentum because since he was back from injury, he's been phenomenal," Mourinho explained.

Nemanja Matic, a surprise inclusion in the team that faced Arsenal after picking up a knock against Watford, will be absent, though, as will Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

"Zlatan needs sometimes hard work on the muscular area that supports the knee. And when the period for that hard work comes, also the fatigue comes," the boss of the veteran Swede.

"He was on this cycle of work, divided between the gym and the pitch. He will be out again tomorrow but I believe back to normal work after CSKA."

Sergio Romero is set to start in goal ahead of David de Gea, whose heroics on Saturday contributed greatly to the win against Arsenal, while Joel Pereira will take a place on the bench as understudy. Mourinho is also yet to make a decision about Luke Shaw.


"He's working to have an opportunity and sooner or later, the opportunity will arrive, because he deserves that opportunity. Selected for tomorrow, yes, for sure. To start or to be on the bench, I cannot answer," the Portuguese said.