Jose Mourinho says Paul Pogba still cannot complete 90 minutes and Zlatan Ibrahimovic also needs easing back in to first-team action after his injury lay-off.
Pogba and Ibrahimovic both returned from the sidelines during last week’s 4-1 victory over Newcastle, with the France midfielder starting two games this week before being substituted in the second half.
Ibrahimovic came off the bench against the Magpies and during the late 1-0 defeat to Basel in the Champions League on Wednesday and Mourinho suggested the same patter would occur against Brighton on Saturday.
Discussing Ibrahimovic, Mourinho told MUTV: “I prefer him on the pitch than off the pitch. On the pitch he’s another option for us and he’s an option of quality. His physicality and his intelligence, the way he moves, the way he plays.
“But he needs time. We managed to give him 15/20 minutes in both matches, he needs more of that, so hopefully tomorrow we play him again.”
Pogba will start against the Seagulls at Old Trafford though the manager is not yet prepared to risk the record signing for a full match.
“Paul is still on this process where he cannot reach the fatigue limit,” the manager said. “He cannot go more than 65 to 70 minutes because that’s when fatigue normally arrives and with so many matches consecutively we need to protect such an important player for us.”
Mourinho is again without Phil Jones and Eric Bailly but the boss is happy with his options at centre-half.
“They are out,” he added on Jones and Bailly. “But we are okay because we have Smalling, Rojo and Lindelof.”