Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Phil Jones to miss Man Utd's Europa League clash with St Etienne
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 15/02/17 6:07pm
Manchester United trio Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Phil Jones will miss Thursday's Europa League clash with St Etienne, while Luke Shaw has been overlooked for a fourth successive game.
The French side will visit Old Trafford for the first leg of their last-32 tie, with the second leg next Wednesday evening at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
Manager Jose Mourinho confirmed Rooney and Carrick were unable to take part in Wednesday's training session because of minor muscular issues and would be rested for the match.
Mourinho said: "Wayne and Michael, I don't want to say injuries because I don't think we are speaking about injuries.
"We are speaking about little problems and protection for these problems, so they are out."
He also confirmed that he would play the same back four which featured in the 2-0 home win over Watford at the weekend.
Shaw's absence from the squad raised more questions about the 21-year-old left-back who has struggled to make his mark under Mourinho.
Niggling injuries on the comeback trail have disrupted his campaign but, despite being fit since mid-January, Shaw has made just one appearance against Wigan in the FA Cup fourth round.
"He's not playing," Mourinho said. "Because my team is playing well and I am happy with my back four, and I'm going to repeat (Antonio) Valencia, (Eric) Bailly, (Chris) Smalling, (Daley) Blind."
However, there was more encouraging news on defender Marcos Rojo, who will be available having come through the training session after missing the recent win over Watford.
Jones has been absent since going off in the Premier League match with Hull due to a foot complaint, but Rooney and Carrick were on the bench against Watford.
United's clash with the 10-time French champions will pit Red Devils midfielder Paul Pogba against elder brother Florentin, who plays in defence for Les Verts.
Mourinho's side, who lost at Feyenoord and Fenerbahce in the competition earlier this season, face a far from straightforward task in their quest to progress in the competition.
St Etienne went unbeaten in Europa League Group C, topping their group. They are also just one point and one place behind fourth-placed Lyon in Ligue 1 and have the second best defensive record in the French top-flight, behind champions Paris Saint-Germain.
The St Etienne players and officials arrived in Manchester on Wednesday morning in preparation for the match.