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Mourinho ready to unleash Ibrahimovic against Leicester

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho shakes hands with Zlatan Ibrahimovic as he is substituted

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic could make his first Premier League start since April when they visit Leicester City on Saturday, manager Jose Mourinho said.

The Swede, who also started in the 2-1 League Cup quarter-final defeat by Bristol City on Wednesday, has worked his way towards full fitness since returning from a serious knee ligament injury he suffered last season.

“Yes, he’s an option,” Mourinho told a news conference on Friday. “He played one hour (against Bristol), a bit more. He could be ready to start the match.

“Ninety minutes is probably too much, it depends on the match. I think he’s ready to start.”

United are second in the league with 41 points after 13 wins, two draws and three losses and Mourinho is unwilling to concede defeat in the title race with Manchester City 11 points ahead as the halfway stage of the season approaches.

Peerless City are on a record 16-game unbeaten run and have swatted aside all challengers including United, who they beat 2-1 at Old Trafford this month.

“We are in a race that only ends for us in May against Watford at Old Trafford, when we finish the game it is finished. Then do we have an FA Cup final or Champions League final to play? We have one more game, then it’s finished.

“We can win every match,” Mourinho added.

Eighth-placed Leicester have collected 20 points from their last 10 games and are a rejuvenated side under Claude Puel, who took charge from Craig Shakespeare in October.

“They are in a comfortable position, no fears, no dramas. Can they fight to reach an Europa League position? Yes they can,” Mourinho said.

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