Jose Mourinho is facing an injury crisis ahead of Manchester United's game against Burnley on Saturday (29 October) after the Portuguese manager confirmed that Chris Smalling had joined Eric Bailly on the treatment table following the Red Devils' win over Manchester City in the EFL Cup fourth round on Wednesday (26 October).
The England international had formed a strong partnership with Bailly at the heart of the United defence and despite a poor performance during United's loss against Chelsea, he is a key member of the back four. Smalling's absence will leave Mourinho short in central defence with Daley Blind, who has been playing at left-back in recent weeks and Marcos Rojo his only options.
The aforementioned duo filled in during the game against the Etihad Stadium outfit in the EFL Cup on Wednesday and Mourinho praised the Argentina international for his performance despite him making just his sixth appearance of the campaign in all competitions. Mourinho is likely to field Rojo and Blind again when Sean Dyche's team visit, which could provide a sterner test at least in terms of a physical challenge.
"We are used to playing with Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling but we have lost both to injury," Mourinho told United's official site after their 1-0 win over Manchester City.
"We had to play with two left-footed central defenders [Daley Blind] and Marcos had not played for a while, but he played phenomenally tonight," the Portuguese coach added.
Mourinho confirms major injury blow after Manchester United's derby win
Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial also missed the game with injury with French publication SFR Sport, suggesting that the latter was out due to an inflammation in the foot. The France international however is expected to return to the squad for the clash against the Clarets at Old Trafford on Saturday, but it remains unclear with regards to the return date for the United skipper, who also missed the game against Chelsea [last Sunday].