Paul Pogba and Chris Smalling are doubtful for Manchester United's clash against Swansea City on Sunday (6 November), which will be a major worry for Jose Mourinho with his side struggling for form in recent weeks. The former limped out after 30 minutes during their recent Europa League clash against Fenerbahce, while the latter has not played since their loss to Chelsea with a foot injury and remains a doubt for the trip to the Liberty Stadium.
The Red Devils will also be without Ander Herrera, who will serve a one-game ban after being harshly sent off for two bookable offences during United's 0-0 draw with Burnley. Michael Carrick was not part of the squad that travelled to Turkey for the midweek clash and is likely to be handed his first Premier League start of the season against the south Wales club. However the absence of Pogba and Herrera, who has become a key player in midfield, will be a major blow as they look to get back to winning ways.
United have won just one of their last four games, which includes two losses and a draw. They are eight points behind the league leaders and will be expected to win when they take on relegation threatened Swansea on Sunday. However without Smalling, the manager is forced to play Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo at centre-back and despite the duo maintaining clean sheets against Burnley and Manchester City in recent weeks, the Portuguese manager admits that the balance of the back four is hampered when playing two left-footed players in central defence.
"Well, you've never seen a Jose Mourinho team play with two left-backs at central defence, and I cannot be critical of the boys, because they do what they can," Mourinho said, as quoted in United's official site.
"They try their best; for Daley [Blind] it is even more difficult to play as a central defender on the right side. It's completely uncomfortable for him; he cannot even be a good builder of the game, which is one of his good qualities. Marcos is trying hard and is fine, but it's a very important starting point for the stability of the team."
Mourinho also addressed concerns about his offensive players after United scored their first goal in four matches in all competitions during their 2-1 loss to Fenerbahce. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has gone eight games in all competitions without a goal, while Wayne Rooney, who scored the only goal in Turkey has managed just one goal in the league, which was on the opening day of the season.
Similarly Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have also not contributed on the goal front with the duo garnering just six goals in a combined 26 appearances in all competitions thus far this season.
"We can also speak about the number of goals that we don't score. Not the number of goals that we score, the ones that we don't score. Sometimes teams don't score goals because of their philosophy, because the team isn't aggressive enough and doesn't risk enough," Mourinho continued.
"That's not our case, that's not our case at all. It is also easy to see that some players in our attacking areas lack confidence; they're not sharp and getting the chances that they can. Probably one of the only good things today was the fact that Rooney finally scored a goal. This also could be one of the key points in terms of his self-confidence."