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Jose Mourinho axes Man Utd pair for Rostov trip but receives major fitness boost

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has left both Wayne Rooney and Luke Shaw out of his squad to face FC Rostov on Thursday.

The Red Devils will be hoping to return from Russia with a positive result in the first leg of the last-16 clash, but there are two notable absentees in the 20-man squad.

Rooney and Shaw have been left out, with no indication from United that either are injured which suggests that it’s the manager’s call and he’s decided to leave them behind, as per The Sun.

Both players were replaced in the disappointing 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at the weekend as United failed to take a glorious opportunity to close the gap further on their rivals above them in the Premier League table.

In turn, perhaps there is a frustration that has spilled over from that game into his selections for Rostov as he can ill-afford another slip up as it will be damaging for United’s momentum that they’ve built over the last few months.

Both players have their troubles this season on and off the pitch and so it remains to be seen whether or not this is merely a professional call from Mourinho as he believes he has the players necessary to get the right result or if he has taken a lot from that Bournemouth game.

One bit of news that should cheer him up at least is that Henrikh Mkhitaryan is back in the squad and could be in line to start having now recovered from the hamstring strain that he picked up in the last Europa League outing away at Saint Etienne last month.

The Armenian international was forced to miss the EFL Cup final and the Bournemouth game, but he will now return. Meanwhile, there’s another potential headache for Mourinho as Eric Bailly will be missing having been sent off in that game against St Etienne.

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