Manchester United have been dealt a major injury blow ahead of Jose Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford. French striker Anthony Martial has been ruled out of the game against Tottenham Hotspur. Martial’s injury means that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be considerably short of firepower heading into a fixture against the man he replaced at Manchester United last December.
Anthony Martial’s national teammate Paul Pogba also remains a major doubt, with Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer all but ruling him out of the game. With Anthony Martial out injured, Solskjaer will be left with just one senior striker in the squad. Teenager Mason Greenwood will be the only other striker on the bench. Jose Mourinho also has a number of injury concerns with Ben Davies and Erik Lamela effectively ruled out of the Man United vs Tottenham game. Meanwhile, first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is still undergoing rehabilitation for the elbow injury he suffered during Tottenham's loss against Brighton and has been ruled out for the rest of the year.
A blow up front for @ManUtd heading into tonight's game.— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 4, 2019
Jose Mourinho has claimed that he received over 50 messages from the Manchester United staff after news of his appointment as Tottenham manager broke out. However, the Old Trafford faithful are unlikely to be as welcoming of the Portuguese manager. Jose Mourinho was sacked as Manchester United manager last December after overseeing a run of fixtures that saw the Red Devils pick up just 26 points from their opening 17 games. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed as a caretaker manager after Jose Mourinho's departure, with the Norwegian being named as a permanent manager later in March.
It is perhaps ironic that Jose Mourinho's return to the Premier League has mirrored that of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's return last December. Under Mourinho, Tottenham have registered three consecutive victories in all competitions. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also oversaw a similar run of form after taking over as the caretaker manager of Manchester United.
However, with the injuries to Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba, Manchester United are likely to be labelled as underdogs in the Man United vs Tottenham game. The two managers do have another common thread, though. Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has publicly backed both managers on Twitter after their appointments. However, it is worth noting that Manchester United experienced a sharp downturn in fortunes after Rio Ferdinand's 'Ole's at the wheel' proclamation.