MANCHESTER, Sporting Alert – Phil Jones is back in the Manchester United squad and will start against CSKA Moscow in Tuesday’s Champions League game at Old Trafford.
Jones missed Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace over the weekend for fitness reasons, but manager Louis van Gaal has revealed that the England international will return.
He is expected to partner Chris Smalling at center-back.
“Phil Jones has replaced him [Tuanzebe] and Phil Jones is returning in the selection, so my preference is for Phil Jones,” van Gaal said on www.manutd.com.
Van Gaal also confirmed that winger Memphis Depay remains unavailable, while Antonio Valencia is set to miss the game because of a foot problem,
However, central midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin could still play in the game despite missing training for “personal reasons.”
“He [Morgan] had private reasons to be excused and I accepted his reasons,” the boss said.
Meanwhile, after struggling to create and score goals in recent outings, Van Gaal says Manchester United have been working a lot on attacking plays and playing more attractive football.
“We try to do that (attractive football) but I think the rhythm of the game in the Premier League is more difficult to develop that,” he said.
“You can see it every week and not only with Manchester United, with the other teams. Anybody can win or lose to each other.
“Maybe it is more difficult in the Premier League, I don’t know, but we are trying to do that.”
He added: “We must win, of course. At home, Manchester United must win all the Champions League games.
“You can say it but it is not so easy, of course.”
Manchester United have not scored in over 300 minutes and it is understood that Van Gaal is preparing to finally listen to the calls from the pundits and fans and play Anthony Martial through the middle, instead of on the left wing.
This means Wayne Rooney could either be pushed wide or play behind Martial in the No. 10 spot.
Manchester United (from): De Gea, Romero, Johnstone, Jones, Rojo, Tuanzebe, Smalling, Darmian, Mata, Carrick, Blind, Young, Herrera, Fellaini, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Lingard, Pereira, Martial, Rooney.