Jose Mourinho has confirmed summer signing Eric Bailly will partner Phil Jones in the heart of Manchester United’s back four during the pre-season clash against Borussia Dortmund on Friday.
The Red Devils made a trip to the Far East, where they will take on the Bundesliga club and Manchester City in the two pre-season fixtures scheduled in China. Bailly arrived at Old Trafford from Villarreal and started in Mourinho’s first match against Wigan Athletic. United won the match 2-0 against the Latics at the DW Stadium.
“In the other match [against Wigan] I started the match with Bailly and Blind as central defenders. Tomorrow I shall start with Bailly and Jones, to see different things and we will try for the best result but that is not the most important thing,” Mourinho told MUTV, as quoted by United’s official website.
Mourinho had already confirmed in his first press conference the England internationals who were part of the national squad at the Euro 2016 will not feature in China, but will travel with the squad. Wayne Rooney was the Three Lions’ captain and he was joined by Chris Smalling and Marcus Rashford to make to the England squad from United.
With Smalling not featuring for United, the former Chelsea manager has decided to field his compatriot Jones alongside Bailly.
Mourinho: Dortmund have advantage
Dortmund have already played four matches in the pre-season so far and Mourinho explains why Thomas Tuchel’s side have an advantage for Friday’s clash against United.
“They are a team that has played five matches and a team that has five matches in their legs. They started training a couple of weeks before us and they didn’t have so many players like we did in the Copa America and the Euros,” the 53-year-old said.
“So basically they only have two or three players out, they have the whole team working together for about a month and I repeat they have played five matches. So I expect to see two teams in different moments of their preparation, but it is good for us because it is more of a challenge.
“We are not here in pre-season playing for points so if you don’t win then you don’t win. You try to have conditioning in the team and to know the players better. For example I want to see the different formations and different players in different positions with different combinations.”