Manchester United have handed a massive injury boost for the midweek Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow after Louis van Gaal confirmed defender Phil Jones is in contention to face the Russian side.
The England international centre-back missed Red Devils last league tie against Crystal Palace. United manager started Daley Blind alongside Chris Smalling in the heart of back four. With Marcos Rojo starting in the left-back position and injury to Paddy McNair, the Dutchman included 17-year-old Axel Tuanzebe in the squad for the clash against the Eagles.
In addition to this, Morgan Schneiderlin was reportedly doubtful after missing from the training session on Monday. However, Van Gaal confirmed the France international was absent from the training session due to personal reasons and could be in contention to face CSKA Moscow on Tuesday at Old Trafford.
“Phil Jones has replaced him [Tuanzebe] and Phil Jones is returning in the selection, so my preference is for Phil Jones,” Van Gaal told MUTV.
“He [Morgan] had private reasons to be excused and I accepted his reasons. We must win, of course. At home, Manchester United must win all the Champions League games. You can say it but it is not so easy, of course.”
With return of Jones, Blind could be forced to sit on the bench for the Champions League fixture. The last fixture between these two sides ended in a 1-1 draw in Russia last month. Both teams have four points after three matches, with United sitting second in the group table, two points behind leaders Wolfsburg.
A victory on Tuesday evening in front of home fans will be vital for United in their hope of progressing to the next round of the Champions League. However, worrying factor would be their recent form.
After the 1-1 draw against CSKA Moscow, United have failed to score in three matches played in all competitions. At the same time, they have managed clean sheets in all of these fixtures. Van Gaal will be hoping his side can end their recent goal scoring drought against the Russian side, while also maintain another clean sheet in the process.