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Man United players return to training ahead of Celta test

Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, and Chris Smalling trained on Wednesday to ease Mourinho's defensive woes ahead of Europa League semi-final.

Man United players return to training ahead of Celta test
Jason CairnduffREUTERS

Paul Pogba and defenders Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones all trained on the eve of Manchester United's Europa League semi-final first leg at Celta Vigo on Thursday.

Manchester United's defensive woes improve

England pair Smalling and Jones have been out since mid-March, while fellow centre-back Bailly limped off in the 61st minute of United's 1-1 draw with Swansea City on Sunday.

With left-back Luke Shaw sustaining a foot injury in the same game, United were facing a defensive injury crisis, but manager Jose Mourinho may now have more options at his disposal than anticipated.

Record signing Pogba's return to the training pitch at United's Carrington base west of Manchester will also be welcome after he missed their last two games with a hamstring injury.

Mourinho has been critical of Smalling and Jones for not being prepared to play through the pain barrier.

It is unclear whether either they or Bailly will be fit to start in Vigo on Thursday.

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Mourinho will be without Ibrahimovic

Defender Marcos Rojo and striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic are out after both sustained knee ligament damage during United's quarter-final success against Anderlecht last month.

Midfielder Juan Mata could make his first appearance since returning from a groin injury, while Marouane Fellaini is available despite currently serving a three-game domestic suspension, picked up as a result of head-butting Sergio Aguero in the Manchester Derby.

Celta Vigo quietly confident

Celta striker John Guidetti, formerly of Manchester City, stated that "with the mentality we've built here, nothing is impossible".

The Galician club currently sit in 11th place in the La Liga table, but have a history of pulling of victories against Spain's big clubs.