Man United's Ivorian defender Bailly faces fitness test ahead of Tottenham clash

Reuters , Friday 27 Oct 2017

File photo: Manchester United's Eric Bailly in action with Leicester City's Jamie Vardy Reuters

Defender Phil Jones is fit enough to return to the Manchester United squad, although fellow defender Eric Bailly faces a late fitness test ahead of Saturday's Premier League home game against Tottenham Hotspur, manager Jose Mourinho said.

Jones injured his leg during last weekend's 2-1 defeat by Huddersfield Town and was on the bench as United eased past Swansea City 2-0 in the League Cup on Tuesday.

Bailly, who formed a strong partnership with the England defender at the start of the campaign, missed the last two league games with a groin strain, but Mourinho is hoping he will be fit for Spurs after returning to training this week.

"Jones is good, he was on the bench on Tuesday ... so he is really ready," Mourinho told a news conference on Friday. "Eric, let's see, he'll have one more training session, but he is the only one I hope from the injured group that can be ready."

Spurs will be without striker Harry Kane, who has a minor hamstring strain, and Mourinho refused to comment on whether being without their top scorer would hurt Tottenham's chances at Old Trafford.

"I don't speak about injured players, so don't ask me about Harry Kane," the Portuguese added, before listing United's own lengthy injury list.

"(If) I speak about him I have to speak about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, (Marouane) Fellaini, (Paul) Pogba, (Marcos) Rojo, (Michael) Carrick - so I don't speak."

United have won their last five home league games without conceding, scoring 16 goals in the process, but Mourinho dismissed talk of opponents being afraid to come to Old Trafford.

"I don't think it's fear factor," he said. "I don't think anyone is afraid to come and play us at Old Trafford ... normally we have good performances at home.

"We had lots of draws last season, too many but normally at home we are a strong, confident team."

Third-placed Tottenham, who thumped Liverpool 4-1 at Wembley last weekend, are level on 20 points with second-placed United after nine games. 

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