Eric Bailly
Jose Mourinho has preferred Eric Bailly alongside Phil Jones in the Premier League whenever the former has been fit Getty

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that he expects star defender Eric Bailly to return from injury next week.

The Ivory Coast international has not featured for the Red Devils since the last international break. He joined the list of players to return to the club carrying a knock, which has forced him to miss the clash against Liverpool in the league and a trip to Benfica in the Champions League.

Mourinho will take his men to the John Smith's Stadium as the 20-time English champions take on Huddersfield Town on Saturday. The former Villarreal central defender will miss the clash against David Wagner's side, but should be available for selection for next week's fixtures.

"I expect Eric Bailly to be back next week," Mourinho was quoted as saying by the United's official website.

Bailly's return will come as a welcome boost for Mourinho for the upcoming fixtures before the next international break. United will travel to the Liberty Stadium to face Swansea City in the fourth round of the Carbao Cup, which is followed by Tottenham Hotspur's visit to Old Trafford for the league clash.

Before the next international break, the Red Devils will host Benfica in the Champions League clash and travel to Stamford Bridge to face English champions Chelsea. Bailly's return will provide the much needed injury boost for the upcoming big fixtures.

In Bailly's absence, Chris Smalling played alongside Phil Jones in United's goalless draw against Liverpool at Anfield. The latter was not fully fit against Benfica and was an unused substitute against the Portuguese outfit.

Victor Lindelof partnered Smalling in the heart of the back four against his former club. Mourinho has already confirmed Jones and Marcus Rashford, who was forced off the pitch against Benfica, are fit to face Huddersfield.