Jose Mourinho has revealed that Antonio Valencia will miss Manchester United’s Champions League opener against Swiss side Young Boys due to concerns over their plastic pitch.
Valencia has cemented his place as Manchester United‘s first choice right-back over recent years, as well as being named as club captain for this season following the retirement of Michael Carrick.
However, with United ready to get their 2018/19 Champions League campaign underway against Swiss side Young Boys in Bern on Wednesday night, Jose Mourinho has confirmed that the 33-year-old will not feature due to concerns about the plastic pitch aggravating historic knee injuries:
“We decide not to play Antonio Valencia because his knee is not a knee that needs an artificial pitch at all, so we brought Luke Shaw back into the team,” Mourinho said in his pre-match press conference.
“I told already Luke Shaw is playing tomorrow and apart from him we have Diogo, Ashley Young and Darmian ready to play.
“Valencia’s situation, we need to protect his clinical situation, apart from that we go with everything we have and have to try and win.”
Mourinho hinted after United’s weekend win over Watford that Ashley Young would be starting at right back, although Matteo Darmian and new signing Diogo Dalot have travelled to Switzerland and could be set for game time.