ANTONIO VALENCIA will miss Manchester United’s Champions League clash against Young Boys – because of a plastic pitch.
Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho revealed the full-back and captain has not travelled out to Switzerland and has been training alone at Carrington.
And the reason? It’s because the game will be played on a synthetic surface in Bern.
Speaking at the Stade de Suisse ahead of the game, Mourinho said: “We decide not to play Antonio Valencia because his knee is not a knee that needs an artificial pitch at all.
“So we brought Luke Shaw back to the squad and to the team.
“I told already Luke Shaw is playing tomorrow and apart from him we have Diogo, Ashley Young and Darmian ready to play.”
Valencia has played in the last three United games in the Premier League, but European competition brings concern to the club’s medical staff.
The 33-year-old played in only one of United’s three Champions League away games last season, in order to protect a long-standing knee issue.
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Mourinho added: “Valencia’s situation, we need to protect his clinical situation, apart from that we go with everything we have and have to try and win.”
SunSport reported earlier today how Mourinho wants his players to channel their inner Roger Federer when they meet Young Boys.
The United boss said: “I don’t want to use that before the match as a possible excuse for a not very good performance.
“We are in Switzerland, the home of one of the best ever tennis players, and I’m pretty sure that the big man sometimes is not happy to play on such a surface – but he has to play and has to win.
“He has a favourite surface but he has to win on the surfaces he is not in love with. We have to do it.”