Man United are poised to field a weakened starting XI against Leicester in the Premier League opener with TWELVE players missing.
Jose Mourinho revealed that he will allow his World Cup stars to have three weeks off training, despite the campaign starting in under a month.
The Red Devils welcome the Foxes to Old Trafford on Friday, August 10, and will be missing the spine of their squad.
Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba will be absent, as well as Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea and English quartet Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young, Marcus Rashford and Phil Jones.
While summer signing Fred will have to wait longer for his United debut after being given an extended break alongside Marouane Fellaini, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic and Marcos Rojo.
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Speaking to RT, Mourinho said: “We cannot start the Premier League with our players that were in the World Cup, which is a shame for the most important club competition in Europe.
“I think [three weeks] is the minimum that their body and soul needs, and which is the minimum for them to return and think about football again.
“To bring them back before that would be, ‘OK, I have you for the first match of the season, but maybe I don’t have you in three or four months.’
“I think three weeks is the minimum they need, which means that they’re going to be back in the week when the Premier League starts
“Which means they’re not ready to start the Premier League, which is I think difficult to understand, where we could have one more week to prepare everybody.”