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Ibra Set to Start Against Brighton


Zlantan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is in contention to make his first Manchester United start in seven months this Saturday after completing his comeback from a career-threatening knee injury.

 

The striker enjoyed an impressive first season at Old Trafford following his free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in July 2016, only for it to be cut short by cruciate knee ligament damage sustained in a Europa League quarter-final victory over Anderlecht in April.

 

 

Both Ibrahimovic and defender Marcos Rojo, who suffered a similar injury in the same match, have now fully recovered from their injuries and could play a key role as United host Brighton in the Premier League this weekend.

 

 

Former Sweden international Ibrahimovic, 36, has appeared as a substitute in each of United’s past two matches, coming on as Newcastle were beaten 4-1 at Old Trafford last Saturday, and again on Wednesday in a 1-0 Champions League defeat by Basel in Switzerland.

 

 

Rojo made his comeback by featuring at centre-back against Basel and is likely to be asked to play there again on Saturday as Phil Jones has a thigh injury and fellow defender Eric Bailly is struggling to recover from a knock.

 

 

“I think Marcos could have been playing a couple of weeks ago,” said United manager Mourinho. “We didn’t need to rush him, push him into that situation, but he has been training with the team for quite a long time.

 

 

“We need him with no Jones. We need Marcos back to give us the stability.
Despite those defensive concerns, Mourinho is close to having a full-strength squad for the first time in months, with Paul Pogba feeling his way back to full fitness following a serious hamstring problem.

 

 

The France midfielder scored on his comeback against Newcastle after two months out of action, but faded after a good start against Basel.

 

 

With a glut of fixtures coming up, Mourinho made seven changes to his starting line-up in Switzerland, with only Pogba, Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku remaining from the team that started against Newcastle.

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