By Coral Barry
Phil Jones is in contention to start Manchester United’s Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow tomorrow but Morgan Schneiderlin is a doubt after missing training today.
Jones missed United’s draw with Crystal Palace at the weekend after Van Gaal claimed his fitness was in the “red zone” but he trained today and returns to the squad.
In his pre-match press conference this afternoon, Van Gaal said: “I think Phil Jones can play [against CSKA Moscow].”
However, Schneiderlin has emerged as a major doubt for the game after he missed the morning session due to personal reasons.
“He [Morgan] had private reasons to be excused and I accepted his reasons,” Van Gaal explained.
The midfield anchorman, who played the entire 90 minutes against Palace on Saturday, might be involved against the Russian visitors, with the manager saying he “could” play.
One player who will not feature is Memphis Depay, for whom the game has come too early after he sat out the goal-less draw at Selhurst Park. Antonio Valencia is also set to miss the match through injury.
The CSKA clash is United’s fourth in Group B with the Premier League club in second place, two points behind leaders Wolfsburg.
Van Gaal observed: “We must win, of course. At home, Manchester United must win all the Champions League games. You can say it but it is not so easy, of course.”