Manchester United were dealt a team selection blow ahead of the clash with Southampton in very unfortunate circumstances, with manager José Mourinho confirming that Paul Pogba would be missing from the clash having been granted compassionate leave after the death of his father Fassou Antoine.
Come back when he is ready
Pogba has slotted straight back into life back in Manchester after his record return from Juventus last summer, the Frenchman has been a crucial player in help securing the EFL Cup and helping United reach the Europa League final next Wednesday after defeating Celta Vigo over two legs.
United still have two league matches to think about before their trip to Stockholm, as they host Crystal Palace on Sunday but firstly face a trip to the St.Mary's on Wednesday night. The 24-year-old will be absent after his father's death last Friday after a long-term battle with illness, Pogba was also omitted from the squad for Sunday's defeat to Tottenham and Mourinho stated that the young midfielder will come back into the squad when he is ready.
"I don't think (he will be available)," Mourinho told manutd.com. "I think that his dad's funeral has to be between Tuesday and Wednesday in France."
"I don't think that Paul has the conditions to play," the coach admitted. "We have left him completely free to be back when he thinks he's ready."
Trying to keep everyone in a good condition
Pogba's omission is another name added to a growing lost of absentees that Mourinho has to deal with ahead of next week's final with; Zlatan Ibrahimović, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young all out for the season.
It is expected that a host of youngsters will be brought in for the final two league matches to rest crucial players for next Wednesday, Mourinho revealed that he gave Daley Blind, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ander Herrera one-day holidays in the past week and stated he is trying to make sure United enter the clash in the best possible condition.
"I'm trying to get people to be the best they can be," he said. "This is a period in one week where I have to give one day off, give [Antonio] Valencia a day off."
"And, against Crystal Palace, two or three more [players], and against Southampton, two or three more," Mourinho concluded. "And that's to try to arrive in the final in the best possible condition."