Manchester United v Sevilla: Why Jose Mourinho shouldn't bring Pogba back if he's fit

Paul Pogba could miss Sevilla clash through injury, with Jose Mourinho casting doubt over his availability. But the Manchester United boss mustn't rush the France international in, even if he turns out fit before Tuesday's all important Champions League tie at Old Trafford.

Paul Pogba suffered the injury in training ahead of Manchester United's Premier League clash with Liverpool, and Jose Mourinho has come out to say that he is not sure if the midfielder would be available for the "live or die" Champions League clash with Sevilla on Tuesday night.

As worrying as that news should sound, given the quality of the player and the importance of the game to Manchester United, it would rather be a dangerous gamble to start the 24-year-old on Tuesday night - even if the medics certify him fit to play.

Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba have dominated the headlines of various media outlets since the touchline spat between the two in a Premier League clash against Spurs last month. With the Portuguese manager substituting the Frenchman twice and leaving him out of his starting line-up on three separate occasions - since that altercation at Wembley. Leaving many with the suggestion that all might not be well between the two at Manchester United.

 

Pogba has been played in favoured position

But, Mourinho has gone on to start the former Juventus man in Manchester United's last two league games before the Liverpool fixture, rubbishing talks of acrimony between manager and player in the process. To further prove his point, Mourinho started Pogba in the midfielder's preferred position in those two games, which is at the left side of Manchester United's midfield.

Pogba not starting Tuesday's clash against Sevilla has nothing to do with any perceived rivalry between him and his boss. it will only be risky to try change what looked like a balance United midfield against Liverpool, when the France international missed the game through injury.

Though Mourinho has tried to please his record signing by playing the Frenchman on the left side of a three-man midfield, it is generally known that the former Chelsea boss fancies a midfield with two defensive (minded) midfielders and a rugged attacking midfield man.

 

McTominay-Matic pairing excelled

Against Liverpool on Saturday, Mourinho reverted to his much revered 4-2-3-1 formation, pitting Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic together as the two defensive midfielders, while Alexis Sanchez was utilized as the attacking midfield man. And it turned out a magnificent pairing in midfield, as McTominay and Matic excelled together, with the former not putting any foot wrong in the entirety of the game. 

That midfield setup also afforded Mourinho the rare opportunity of playing Marcus Rashford on the left side of Manchester United's attack, something the Portuguese has found difficult to do since the arrival of Alexis Sanchez.

And what a setup that turned out to be, as Marcus Rashford scored two brilliant goals from that left side, ensuring a victory for Manchester United over arch-rivals, Liverpool.

It would have been virtually impossible to start Rashford in that game against Liverpool with a fit Paul Pogba, not to mention starting the Englishman on the left side of attack where he prefers outside the striker's position up top. But the Frenchman's injury before the game turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United.

While it will be risky to include a fit Paul Pogba from the start on Tuesday night - which will be uttering Manchester United's setup from the Liverpool game, it's even riskier to rush a player that has just recovered and returned from an injury into a match Jose Mourinho has dubbed a 'live or die' fixture for Manchester United.

 

Mourinho cannot start Pogba

It wouldn't be bad if a fit Paul Pogba start the game from the bench. But to include the Manchester United star in the starting line-up on the day solely because he is fit to play would be disregarding the efforts of those that have worked their socks off to ensure victory for Manchester United against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool.