'Phenomenal' Pogba to face CSKA as Mourinho stays tight-lipped on appeal

Jose Mourinho refused to confirm or deny whether Manchester United have appealed Paul Pogba's Arsenal sending off, but he did reveal the midfielder will face CSKA Moscow on Tuesday in a bid to maintain his "phenomenal" form.

Pogba was dismissed in United's 3-1 win at Arsenal on Saturday for catching Hector Bellerin with his studs, meaning he is suspended for the Manchester derby against City on Sunday.

It came as a major blow for both Pogba and United, who have been significantly more commanding in midfield since the Frenchman's return from injury.

But Mourinho was not interested in discussing any potential appeal ahead of the visit of CSKA, before going on to praise Pogba's form since his comeback.

When asked if would disclose whether or not United have appealed, Mourinho said: "Nope, he plays tomorrow. He's not suspended for Champions League, so he plays tomorrow.

"He's very happy to play tomorrow. It's the next match, the match that matters. He plays tomorrow.

"Of course he's maybe a bit tired and has only had a few days to recover, but he's very happy and he'll try to keep his momentum, because since he's been back he's been phenomenal."

Mourinho surprised many by omitting Zlatan Ibrahimovic from the matchday squad for the win at Arsenal, but the coach says the club are still managing his comeback from injury and he will therefore miss Tuesday's game.

The Portuguese did hint at springing a surprise with regards to including one of his injury worries in the squad, though he would not say who.

"Zlatan is not injured," Mourinho said. "He sometimes needs some very hard work on the muscular area which supports knee which had problems.

"When a period of hard work comes, also the fatigue comes. To work really hard for a certain period of time, he cannot play in these days, so we decided to do that after Watford.

"He's on that cycle of work now, divided between gym and pitch. He'll be out again tomorrow [Tuesday], but back to normal work after CSKA.

"All other players who were out are still out. But I could make a surprise and one who isn't available may play."

One player who could be in line for a rare appearance is Luke Shaw.

The left-back has only played 47 minutes of senior football so far this season, but Mourinho confirmed he will at least be in the squad because he "deserves" an opportunity.

Mourinho said: "I have to think [about who plays]. I am going to make a few - but not too many - changes.

"We didn't qualify yet, we didn't finish first in the group yet. The other clubs also involved in qualifying, so I need to keep certain balance in the team.

"But when you speak about Luke Shaw, he is working to have an opportunity, and sooner or later an opportunity will arrive, because he deserves a chance.

"Selected tomorrow - for sure. But starting or on the bench? I cannot answer."

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