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Valencia doubtful starter against City in Manchester derby


Manchester, Sep 2: In-form Manchester United full back Antonio Valencia could miss the Manchester Derby owing to late return from the international break.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho could play Phil Jones, Matteo Darmian or Timothy Fosu-Mensah at right-back position for the 172nd derby against cross town rivals Manchester City despite none of the trio having played any first-team football this season.

Valencia is away with Ecuador but the 31-year-old does not return until next Friday, the day before Manchester City's visit. The derby is the early afternoon kick-off, further shortening the time Valencia has to recover, along with Argentina's Marcos Rojo and Sergio Romero, who are also due late back at the club.

"Some are coming back on the Monday before the Manchester City match but some are coming back on Friday. The day before Man City, we will still have Sergio Romero, Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia arriving," Mourinho was quoted as saying by the Guardian on Friday.

"It will be a complicated process but we know it is like this when we have these players. And I would love all of the players to go because it would mean that everybody is being selected for their national teams."

Both United and City have won their opening three Premier League matches, with Pep Guardiola's side the early leaders on goal difference.

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