Jose calm over City advantage

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has refused to read too much into the eight-point lead neighbours City hold in the Premier League after 12 games played.

The Citizens have given themselves a big cushion by dropping just two points to date, but Mourinho is not concerned by that situation, with the top-flight campaign not close to being halfway through.

He told reporters ahead of a Saturday visit to Old Trafford by Brighton: “We cannot think about the gap, we cannot think about the gap to City, we cannot think about the gap to the fifth position.

“You just have to focus on yourselves in matches. In this moment we haven’t yet reached 50 per cent of the season, so let’s be calm.”

United, who have not faced the Seagulls in a league fixture since March 1983, are 1/5 to take all three points on Saturday afternoon and are 5/1 to win the game 2-0, with leading scorer Romelu Lukaku available at 4/7 to score at any time.

Meanwhile, Mourinho confirmed that central defenders Phil Jones and Eric Bailly have not recovered from injury and will miss the game, leaving him to perm two from the trio of Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Victor Lindelof.

The Portuguese also admitted that striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic would only be involved from the substitutes’ bench, while fit-again midfielder Paul Pogba will not be risked for more than 65-70 minutes.

Ibrahimovic has been given around 15 minutes against both Newcastle United and FC Basel after recovering from a serious knee injury.

France international Pogba lasted 70 and 66 minutes respectively after starting against the same two opponents.

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