Mourinho announces fitness of Manchester United pair ahead of Anfield tie

The Portuguese manager is looking forward to another trip to Anfield, where he has enjoyed success with previous clubs.

Mourinho announces fitness of Manchester United pair ahead of Anfield tie
Mourinho at his pre-match press conference on Friday | Photo via Getty Images

Monday night sees one of the most important games of Manchester United's season, at Anfield against Liverpool, who will be hoping to replicate their dominating performance against United in the UEFA Europa League of last season.

Jose Mourinho was all smiles during his press conference, especially while announcing that Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was out for several weeks in October is "fit and ready" to feature versus the Reds.

Mkhitaryan and Shaw available

Mkhitaryan's last appearance for the club was against Manchester City. Being substituted at half-time following an awful first half performance made the Armenian's day one to forget.

Luke Shaw was declared fit as well. The Englishman may struggle, however, to take the starting berth off Daley Blind, who has held the fort perfectly since Shaw's injury.

Mourinho has triumphed on several occasions in the red half of Merseyside and so it's of no surprise that the United manager is looking forward to another trip to Anfield. He told reporters, "I like to go there, I like the atmosphere."

Mourinho looking forward to Anfield trip

The erstwhile blue boss thinks that being Man United's manager means something different because, according to him, "we cannot compare the historical rivalry between his previous club [Chelsea] and Liverpool, Man United and Liverpool."

The 53-year-old sees this game as a "big match that can be comparable to Milan vs Inter Milan, [Real] Madrid vs Barcelona, maybe Porto vs Benfica."

Even after understanding the huge dimensions of this meeting, Mourinho insists that "The season is not about the Anfield match, or Old Trafford in January. It's about many matches."

Another game brings another lineup dilemma. Mourinho will have some tough decisions to make before the important clash. After starting from the bench in three consecutive games at United, Gareth Southgate rubbed salt into Wayne Rooney's wounds by dropping him for England last Tuesday against Slovenia. The manager showed faith in the 30-year-old for the third time running and insisted that Rooney "is prepared, training well and is positive."

Two other Man Utd players aren't guaranteed starting line-up spots due to Martial getting back on form and the opponents' style of play are Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera. Discussing the pairing, both of whom were away on international duty with England and Spain respectively, Mourinho said that such an experience is "obviously important for them" as well as being something that the club can be "proud" of.