By 90Min
March 09, 2018

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has hinted that key defender Eric Bailly is ready to start Saturday's Premier League clash with Liverpool after spending most of the last four months recovering from a knee injury, while midfielder Marouane Fellaini is also in contention.

Bailly has played just 10 minutes since November after two recent substitute appearances, but his return could be a huge boost as United prepare to face Liverpool's potent attack. Fellaini, meanwhile, has been suffering with knee trouble all season, but is a favourite of Mourinho's.

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"[Bailly] was fully fit for a couple of weeks. Yeah, but he's okay. The only one that is back to the team is Fellaini," the United boss confirmed when he spoke to the press on Friday.

Mourinho has insisted that he is playing to win in Saturday's huge game against the Merseyside Reds after critics and detractors have widely suggested all week that the Portuguese would be happy to 'park the bus' and settle for a draw.

Just a single point separates second place United and third place Liverpool heading into the game, with Mourinho noting there are more valuable things at stake than the fierce rivalry.

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"For me, it's just a big match - two historic clubs, not just in England, but in the world. And in this moment, important points for the top four, important points for second position, which is better than third or the fourth," Mourinho explained at a press conference on Friday.

"Of course I want to win," he added. "It's a big match, a big opponent. It's the team that's just behind us. It's a team that is already in the Champions League last eight. But, I'm not very good on rivalries, every opponent is a rival for me."

Liverpool booked their place in the next round of the Champions League with a 0-0 draw this week to seal a 5-0 aggregate win over Porto, Mourinho's former club. United, meanwhile, will play their second leg against Sevilla on Tuesday, with the aggregate score balanced at 0-0.

With Liverpool fans expecting fireworks from in-form duo Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, there will be pressure on Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to put in big performances.

Sanchez was largely poor during the last game against Crystal Palace, but Lukaku has found his shooting boots of late after scoring five times in his last six appearances in all competitions.

"He's an important guy for me, he's one of the guys that I trust," Mourinho said of the Belgian.

"I love his attitude and character. It's not just about the goals he scores, but what he brings to the team and he brings to the team exactly that, his spirit."

As far as other team news is concerned, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo remain out. Anthony Martial also remains a doubt, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still not fit.

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