Manchester United could be without as many as six players for the Premier League trip to Liverpool as Jose Mourinho sweats over the fitness of his players following the two-week international break. Sixteen players journeyed to various corners of the globe to play for their countries and upon their return will be medically examined so the club can learn the after-effects of their travels ahead of their biggest game of the season so far.
Phil Jones was not available for selection for the international fortnight due to a long-standing knee injury and is the only guaranteed absentee for the 20-time English league champions – though a throng of players are a major doubt ahead of the clash with Jurgen Klopp's men. The greatest concern surrounds Argentina pair Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo, and Ecuador's Antonio Valencia who all jetted off to South America this week to play World Cup qualifiers.
The trio will have each racked up in excess of 13,000 miles by the time they arrive back in Manchester, though will have the weekend to recuperate ahead of the fixture on Monday [17 October] evening. Romero and Rojo have not seen a minute of Premier League action this season but Valencia has started all seven of United's top flight fixtures, playing the full 90 minutes six times.
Luke Shaw and Henrikh Mhitaryan both missed the international matches through injury but it is yet to be seen whether have recovered in time for the trip to Merseyside. Shaw was deemed unfit by interim England boss Gareth Southgate having missed United's last two league games due to a groin injury, while Armenia international Mkhitaryan continues to nurse a thigh problem picked up during his last appearance for his country against the Czech Republic.
Twelve other players will return from international duty this week and though no further injuries or fitness concerns have been reported it is yet to be seen whether United's medical team uncover any problems. Four of those players will come back having represented England with Jesse Lingard, Chris Smalling, Marcus Rashford and captain Wayne Rooney among them.