Ibrahimovic set for first Manchester United start in seven months against Albion

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Champions League record breaker Zlatan Ibrahimovic could make his first Manchester United start in seven months against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.

Combine that with the return of Marcos Rojo and Paul Pogba as well as Eric Bailly in contention, Chris Hughton's side could be facing a United outfit at almost full strength for the first time this season.

The high-flying Seagulls visit Old Trafford at the weekend and Swedish striker Ibrahimovic is in contention to be named in the starting XI for the first time since his career-threatening knee injury sustained in April.

There were fears whether the 36-year-old would play again, yet alone at United, but hard rehabilitation work saw him pen a new deal at the Red Devils in the summer.

Last weekend, Ibrahimovic came off the bench in United's 4-1 win against Newcastle United for his first minutes since that ligament damage, sustained in their Europa League quarter-final tie against Anderlecht.

The forward then set a new record as he was used as a substitute in United's 1-0 defeat to Basel on Wednesday night - his first appearance for United in the competition - and became the first player to feature for seven different clubs on Europe's top stage.

Another back in the United fold is defender Rojo. The Argentine had been out of action since April after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in the same Europa League quarter-final tie with Anderlecht.

But made his comeback appearance against Basel, played the full 90 minutes and won plenty of plaudits for his performance.

France's Paul Pogba also made his return from a hamstring injury against Newcastle last week and was instrumental in United’s victory. Jose Mourinho also felt the midfield man coming off against Basel had a big effect on the game, saying "I think it did have an impact, we were not such a good team after Paul came off but it had to be with the levels of fatigue after 65 minutes."

Bailley having missed last weekend's game could return against Albion,"Bailly I think has a chance for the weekend, confirmed Mourinho.

One player that, according to Mourniho, will not feature against Albion is defender Phil Jones. He has been out since the international break after picking up a thigh injury while with England.