Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given an update on the health of his Manchester United squad, prior to Sunday’s Premier League meeting with David Moyes’s West Ham United.
The Old Trafford fixture comes just over 72 hours after a tough Europa League fixture and, of our fit regulars, only Victor Lindelof was given the night off. The Swede was an unused substitute against the Rossoneri as United ultimately battled in vain to maintain our one-goal lead.
The clash with the Hammers, who are fifth and six points behind us in the table, albeit with a game in hand, is another important one as we seek to improve on last season’s final position of third.
However, Solskjaer has revealed his ability to freshen up the side has been dealt a blow due to the continued absence of three midfielders.
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Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Donny van de Beek have all been out of action for a month now with various niggles, meaning the midfield load has had to be shared between Fred, Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Bruno Fernandes.
And those four look set to be our options again at the weekend, although Ole is still optimistic that at least one of our missing midfield men may return before the domestic season pauses for a fortnight due to the international break.
“No I don’t think any of those will be available,” Ole told reporters.
“We hope maybe before the international break. Maybe, but I’m not sure.
“It is taking a little bit longer than we expected but we have three games now and then the international break and after that they will all be available for us.”
United have issues in attack too, as Anthony Martial joined Marcus Rashford as a doubt after hobbling off with a hip problem at half-time during the 1-1 draw with AC Milan, while Edinson Cavani has been ruled out.
Amad is an option to come in, though, having scored his first United goal within five minutes of replacing Martial at the break, while 17-year-old Shola Shoretire has retained his place in the squad in recent weeks after two brief substitute appearances.
Ole has confirmed that David De Gea is back in Manchester after returning to Spain for the birth of his first child.
The goalkeeper has sat out each of our last three fixtures, with Dean Henderson replacing him and keeping two clean sheets, but it is not yet clear whether or not he will be available for Sunday as he has to complete a period of quarantine before he can train again.
WEST HAM INJURY NEWS
On-loan United midfielder Jesse Lingard has experienced a brilliant start to life at West Ham, scoring four goals in six games and gaining a nomination for the Premier League Player of the Month award for February.
However, due to league rules, the 28-year-old is ineligible for the match on Sunday.
The Hammers were unable to fill their substitutes’ bench for Monday’s 2-0 win over Leeds United and it remains to be seen whether Arthur Masuaku, Ryan Fredericks, Angelo Ogbonna and Andriy Yarmolenko have recovered in time to face the Reds.