Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has said that Radamel Falcao could return to the pitch for the game against Liverpool this weekend but Angel Di Maria is still injured.
Di Maria has not featured for Manchester United since limping off in the 14th minute of last month’s 3-0 victory over Hull City at Old Trafford with a hamstring injury and is not yet ready to return. Some reports had suggested he may be ready to face Liverpool on Sunday, however the Dutch boss has confirmed he will not make it. Luke Shaw suffered ankle ligament damage during United’s 2-1 win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium last month, while Daley Blind has been ruled out until 2015 with a knee problem. United are also without Chris Smalling, but Van Gaal is pleased that his injury crises appears to be clearing up.
Van Gaal said: “We have only four players injured so that is better than ever. We have Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Angel Di Maria and Daley Blind.”
“As I have said already last week, the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and I believe that by the end of December maybe we shall only have three or four injuries.”
However on Di Maria he insisted he will not be ready, he said: “I am not a doctor so I cannot answer but I know he is not ready for Liverpool.”
And asked about Smalling, he added: “It’s not so heavy an injury, he was very wise to stop immediately. I think it shall take two weeks.”
Asked if Radamel Falcao could feature this weekend, LVG said: “Yes. He could make a return.”
The Colombian international is yet to complete a 90 minutes since his deadline-day loan move from Monaco. Another timely boost for United is the news that Phil Jones could return to full fitness during the typically hectic festive period. Jones hasn’t featured since the 2-2 draw with West Brom back in October after he picked up a shin injury. However, Jones has now been given the green light to return to training. His return eases the burden on the defence at Old Trafford, although Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw are still out with respective groin and ankle issues.
The Dutchman claimed that Ryan Giggs has been a big help in getting him to understand the bitter rivalry of this fixture.
He said: “I have an assistant manager in Ryan Giggs, and he presented an analysis of Liverpool and he did it in a marvellous way, so I’m very pleased.”
Rafael has overcome a groin problem and could feature against Liverpool.
Probable XI (4-2-3-1): : De Gea; Young, Rojo, McNair, Valencia; Fellaini, Carrick; Mata, Rooney, Herrera; Van Persie