• Mata, Herrera provide United injury boost

    Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata

    Manchester United should be able to welcome back Juan Mata and Ander Herrera for Sunday’s friendly with Valerenga in Oslo, Jose Mourinho has said.

    Both Spaniards suffered injuries during United’s tour in the United States, and will miss Wednesday’s International Champions Cup clash with Barcelona in Washington.

    Mata picked up an ankle problem in the 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake, while Herrera was substituted barely seven minutes after being introduced as a half-time replacement against Real Madrid on Sunday.

    Neither will be risked on Wednesday, but Mourinho expects them to be able to feature when United return to Europe.

    “They cannot play tomorrow [against Barcelona], but I think they will recover in time to be integrated with the team when we go back to work next Saturday,” Mourinho told MUTV.

    “They will probably play on Sunday [against Valerenga].”

    Despite being without two key players against Barca, Mourinho is looking forward to the challenge posed by Ernesto Valverde’s side.

    “It’s the best way to finish the pre-season,” he told a media conference on Tuesday.

    “We started playing against MLS teams, which was a very good experience for us, to play against a fit team was good for us, then we got a good English team [Manchester City], then Real Madrid.

    “Real Madrid played almost with their best team, only [Sergio] Ramos and [Cristiano] Ronaldo didn’t play, so we had a good feeling and with Barcelona it looks like everybody is, new players, new manager, so it’s the best way to finish the pre-season to play against the best players, the best teams.”

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