David Moyes has revealed Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling and Patrice Evra all might miss Manchester United’s final Champions League group game against Shakhtar Donetsk, according to the team's official Twitter account.
United were without four major names during Monday’s training session, with Vidic, Evra, Smalling and Marouane Fellaini all absent, per Sky Sports. However, it seems Fellaini will be available at Old Trafford:
Moyes did suggest Shinji Kagawa might return though, following a stomach problem sustained ahead of the Newcastle match. United's official website quoted the manager saying: "Shinji trained today and I think he'll be okay tomorrow."
The Red Devils can afford to relax during the visit of Shakhtar Donetsk, safe in the knowledge they have already booked a spot in the last 16 of the competition.
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However, they still need a point to guarantee their place as group winners, which would hand them a better chance of earning an easy draw in the opening knockout round.
Fellaini and Smalling were both absent from the weekend loss to Newcastle, but Evra and Vidic both started as Moyes’ men were humbled by their North East opponents.
The defeat left United 13 points off top spot in the Premier League and prompted a swarm of fans towards the exit doors ahead of the full-time whistle, as hundreds of United followers gave up on their team.
Moyes insisted during Monday’s press conference he was to blame for United’s first home loss to Newcastle since 1972, as reported by the club’s official Twitter account:
David Moyes says he takes "complete responsibility" for #mufc's recent results and says he's confident they'll improve.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 9, 2013
United must now use the visit of Shakhtar to build confidence. Two straight home losses have destroyed team morale, as revealed by Jonny Evans to PA Sport via ESPN, so Tuesday’s game has taken on extra significance.
A United side at full tilt would not particularly care if they finish first or second in the group, confident they would overcome any second-round opponent.
However, right now they need any victory they can get for confidence. There is only one way to rediscover form and momentum, and it comes by winning football matches.