Manchester United may prioritize the Europa League as a path to the Champions League should it beat FC Rostov and reach the quarterfinal, José Mourinho has suggested.
Uefa confirmed in a statement that, following a pitch inspection, the match would go ahead as planned this evening, even though Mourinho claimed the surface was a safety hazard to his players and had thrown his selection plans for the first-leg tie into turmoil.
United will be looking to not only look to book a place in the last eight of the Europa League but will look to return to winning ways in Russian Federation after Saturday's frustrating 1-1 draw with AFC Bournemouth.
And Mourinho, speaking at his prematch news conference, said: "It's still hard for me to believe that we are going to play [there]".
Drawing on his own experience with United in Europe, the retired defender added, "I'd like to say the traveling never really bothered me but going long distances is tiring".
Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has revealed that he will not play for the Belgium national team anymore if he moves to China.
Armenian forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan returns to the 20-man squad after recovering from an injury incurred just after scoring the victor against Saint-Etienne. "I have now a lot to think because I was expecting something more playable".
Mourinho was furious that his concerns about the pitch were not taken seriously when he mentioned it to a Uefa delegate.
Jose Mourinho's men eased past Saint-Etienne 4-0 in the previous round and will fancy their chances against the Russian Premier League's fifth-place side, who have won just three of their last nine league matches.
The 31-year-old returned to the starting eleven for Saturday's 1-1 draw with Bournemouth and played 70 minutes before being replaced by Marcus Rashford but Rooney has been left back in Manchester for Thursday's game.
'Maybe the quality of the game will be a bit different, but it doesn't have to be an excuse for us.
The pitch appears to be in bad condition ahead of the game.
"The pitch is the same for everyone but it will still be a problem", said Daniliants.
"I didn't have any contact with anyone until now".
"For now it's just to play, play against Rostov, play against Chelsea, play against Rostov again and then let's see how we are in all the competitions, and try to make the right decisions".
"We have four games to play before the global break and each of them is going to be a special challenge".