Manchester United have been dealt a huge blow ahead of the crunch clash against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday evening as José Mourinho earlier confirmed that midfield maestro Paul Pogba is unavailable, adding to the club's current injury woes as the run-in approaches at speed and the fixtures start piling up.
The France international pulled up in injury time during the 2-0 triumph at Burnley on Sunday and had to be replaced by Michael Carrick, which raised many questions among fans as to why Mourinho allowed him to last the whole game after playing all 120 minutes at Old Trafford on Thursday as United booked a place in the Europa League semi-finals against RSC Anderlecht.
Pogba not the only big miss
Pogba isn't the only high-profile name that's unavailable as Zlatan Ibrahimović and Marcos Rojo are obviously on the sidelines for the remainder of the season with ligament damage while central defensive pairing Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and attacking playmaker Juan Mata all still haven't returned to training since picking up injuries in March, which has left the manager "in trouble".
The 24-year-old's absence has left the door open for a centre three of Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini - three players who have impressed under Mourinho this term - but the flair and creativity of Paul Pogba will certainly be felt against one of the most productive midfield units in world football today.
Antonio Valencia returns
Antonio Valencia looked awfully tired in the midweek European tie with RSC Anderlecht and was subsequently rested for the trip to Turf Moor but José Mourinho confirmed earlier today that the in-form right-back will return to the squad, and he could play a vital role if United are to come away with a result battling against City's weak full-back options.
A win would see the Reds leapfrog the noisy neighbours and enter the Champions League places for the first time since September 2016 as well as moving level on points with Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool with a game in hand at their disposal, so both sets of supporters are understandably feeling the pressure in the build-up.