Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Chris Smalling will make his starting line-up when Manchester United take on Basel on Wednesday night (22 November) with Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, and Michael Carrick to miss the Champions League clash due to various injuries.
United only need a point at St. Jakob-Park to book a place in the last 16 as group winners having won their four previous games, beating the Swiss side 3-0 in the reverse fixture played at Old Trafford earlier in September.
Jones and Bailly missed the 4-1 victory over Newcastle United on Saturday with Smalling and Victor Lindelöf starting at the heart of the back-line.
The Champions League trip to Basel will still come too early for the two defenders but Mourinho suggested that the Ivory Coast international could be back in time to face Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
"Bailly I think has a chance for the weekend," Mourinho said as quoted by MEN.
"Jones does not play tomorrow and I can say in advance he doesn't play the weekend too."
Meanwhile, Carrick is also among the absentees. The midfielder is yet to play a single minute in the Premier League this season due to a reported mysterious illness and will also be unavailable to face Basel.
Mourinho confirmed that Smalling will remain in his starting line-up after the 27-year-old centre-back scored a goal against Newcastle.
The Portuguese boss also joked he hopes Gareth Southgate won't recall the United defender for future internationals after he was surprisingly omitted for the recent friendlies against German and Brazil.
"I hope he doesn't get his spot because somebody comes [back] injured. He comes injured, Jones comes injured and real injuries because there are other injuries where the players cannot play on the Wednesday and are perfect for the Saturday. Our injuries are real injuries," Mourinho added.
"Jones does not play tomorrow and I can say in advance he doesn't play the weekend [against Brighton] too. Smalling is playing all the time and playing well and tomorrow plays again. We don't have Jones, we don't have Eric Bailly again, so Smalling has to play every match and well, that we can say.
"I say in a selfish perspective but is not a real perspective," Mourinho added of Smalling's hopes of securing a World Cup squad berth. "Because what I want is my players to be happy and go to the national teams and an event like the World Cup. I know that if England reach the final of the World Cup, I know that a few weeks after we start the Premier League, so I know if England goes to the World Cup final I have to start without my players.
"But even so for England, a country I work and live, and probably will live for many years, I would like that to happen and the national team have all the conditions for that."
Meanwhile, the United boss suggested that Romelu Lukaku will also start after revealing that Ibrahimovic still needs to build up his match fitness before he is ready to make his starting XI.
The veteran striker only made a 13-minute cameo appearance against Newcastle in his return to action after a seven-month spell on the sidelines.
"Zlatan goes on the bench tomorrow and he normally plays," Mourinho added. "Because he needs to play and because he's useful for us. If we are in a winning position like we were against Newcastle we need him on the pitch, he drops into areas where he gives stability to the team.
"If the team is not winning, his presence on the pitch will be important, positive, more aggressive to play with Lukaku. Normally he is going to play and it will be a little bit more comfortable for him to play. So instead of 15 [minutes], maybe 20, 25 or 22."