Jose Mourinho confirms several absentees for Leicester City opener

Action Images via Reuters  John Sibley

Action Images via Reuters John Sibley

"Nothing will happen before the transfer window shuts?"

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that he will be without up to 10 players as the club kicks off the new Premier League season against Leicester at Old Trafford on Friday. "I'm not confident and the market closes today so it is time, at least for me, to stop thinking about the market because the market will be closed, so I will have to focus on the players I have". He was also asked a follow-up question to clarify that there would be no incomings or outgoings throughout the day.

But he was quick to point out his United side were closest to runaway leaders Manchester City last season, even if they finished 19 points adrift.

Here, Sky Sports takes an interactive look at how the competition between the two Manchester clubs has evolved throughout the Premier League era, with City slipping to the third tier before fighting back to overtake their neighbours.

He said that he believes Liverpool will finish ahead of Manchester United in second place and Tottenham Hotspur will finish fourth despite a summer in which Mauricio Pochettino's team did not spend a penny in the transfer market.

Mauricio Pochettino backs Tottenham to improve despite lack of signings
Paul Merson is backing Tottenham Hotspur to finish in fourth place ahead of Arsenal in the Premier League table this season. Tottenham failed to make a single signing this summer, in a transfer window which frustrated many of their supporters.

"Is hard for me to understand, to feel, to believe we finish second".

Sergio Romero, Valencia, Marcos Rojo, Dalot, Ander Herrera and Matic are all injured for Leicester's visit, while Mourinho needs to check on the fitness of those that returned late from the World Cup.

"They returned on Monday. I won eight championships and three Premier Leagues but I keep feeling the second last season was one of my biggest achievements in the game". A club that's spent the money they've spent in the past few seasons and the players they've got [should be challenging]. In football you need time to work and players on the pitch to work and we didn't have that until now.

Alisson, Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri all arrived before the end of July, with Jurgen Klopp eager to work with his full squad throughout pre-season.

"I have to focus on the players that are available".

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