Jose Mourinho eases fears after sweating over availability of seven Manchester United stars ahead of derby

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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has spoken ahead of the derby with Man City on Saturday, and has revealed he has a fully fit squad to select from.

As noted by the Manchester Evening News, the Portuguese tactician was concerned over a number of key individuals, including Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Luke Shaw, Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard and a trio of South American stars coming back from international duty.

However, he has allayed any fears that United supporters might have had about key players not being available to feature for the biggest game of the season thus far by insisting that he has a full squad to choose from.

“Everybody is available,” he told reporters in his pre-match press conference on Friday. “It’s not the same as if we were here all week and working, resting and not travelling, but there are no injuries and everybody has returned safely and on time for at least one training session.

“Everybody is ready and wants to play.”

Further, on Mkhitaryan specifically, Mourinho added: “He is available. I’m not saying he’s ready to play 90 minutes but he’s ready to try to help us.”

The 27-year-old is likely to have to be content with a place on the bench again this weekend, as he has failed to start for the Red Devils since his summer move from Borussia Dortmund.

However, given that he suffered a knock on international duty with Armenia last week, it’s unlikely that he will be risked on this occasion, with Mourinho having various options in attack to start against Pep Guardiola’s men.

Marcus Rashford, fresh from scoring a hat-trick for the England U21s could be in contention to start, although it remains to be seen who would drop out with Juan Mata and Anthony Martial hoping to avoid being given the boot.

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