Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is out of Thursday’s derby against Manchester City, live on Sky Sports.
Pogba misses out due to a muscle injury he sustained during Sunday’s win at Burnley but Antonio Valencia is fit to return and Ander Herrera is also available.
A win at the Etihad would be a huge boost for United, as it would take them above City and into fourth place in the Premier League table.
And Mourinho stressed that, this season, the battle for a top-four finish is more significant than local bragging rights.
“It means nothing (to finish above Man City),” said the United boss. “If you finish fifth and they sixth we are above them but it means nothing.
“If they finish third and we finish fourth, they are above us and it means a lot.
“This is not about Pep [Guardiola] or City. It’s about objectives and we want to play Champions League football and we still have two doors open (Premier League and Europa League).”
As well as Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, United will be without Juan Mata, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones for Thursday’s derby.
But Mourinho is undaunted and added: “We go with what we have, we fight with what we have.
“I trust the boys and we go with everything we have until the last second of the season. We are fighters.”
A huge fight of a different kind is taking place at Wembley this Saturday night but Mourinho is wary of drawing comparisons between a Manchester derby and the world heavyweight title showdown between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko.
“I don’t compare,” said Mourinho.
“I am not a specialist on boxing. It’s an individual sport, it’s men against men, so everything is on Anthony and Klitschko, so it’s completely different.
“One is to fight for the world title and one is to fight for top four. I think the focus will be on them next Saturday at Wembley.”