Mourinho: I'm treated differently than other Premier League managers

It all adds up to a nightmarish situation, luckily for United they are playing arguably the worst side in the Premier League and they will soon have an global break coming up for some rest and recovery. Boro have no certain absentees, though could be without defenders Daniel Ayala, Calum Chambers, George Friend and Bernado Espinoza, and striker Rudy Gestede.

United will be short of the suspended Ander Herrera and Zlatan Ibrahimović, while Paul Pogba will skip this one through injury.

A club like Manchester United, that demands a decent performance in every cup competition they enter, should be expecting these sort of fixture pile-ups at the back end of the season. Now ranked sixth in the EPL, they might find that the second-tier European tournament is an easier path to complete that mission, as only the top four in the league can secure Champions League qualification. They have failed to score in 13 of their 27 matches, more than any other side. "When I watch marathons, when I watch other sports and people go to the limit, I don't think it's amusing", Mourinho said.

Those comments followed an interview with BT Sport at the conclusion of the match in which the Portuguese boss said his side had many "enemies" in which they had to contend with.

When it was put to him that Karanka had been a victim of player power, Mourinho nodded before adding intriguingly: "And in this case, I know the names". I've been Harry Robinson building you up to this game, I'll let Brandon Sayer take over from here and we'll here intermittently from Danial Kennedy, our man at the Riverside today.

"I started to understand that there are powers that you can not fight against".

"I've seen players maybe get Jaffa Cakes passed onto the pitch, so I wasn't surprised a player was looking for some sort of food, but they made a bigger drama than what it was".

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"Play on Monday with 10 men, enjoying five hours the M6 coming back to Manchester".

"Don't make it more hard than it should be". He was playing on the left because he could run and Marcos couldn't run.

However, only four clubs have conceded fewer goals than Middlesbrough.

They share the division's best defensive away record with Chelsea, conceding just 12 goals.

Ibrahimovic has attempted almost a quarter of Manchester United's shots in the Premier League this season (109 - 24.3 per cent).

It will be the fourth meeting between the sides, with United winning the three previous ones. They now sit in second bottom spot and have a real problem scoring goals, so, Bamford's situation is baffling for most observers.

Antonio Valencia could make his 200th Premier League appearance.

  • Lawrence Cooper