Injuries still continue to hamper Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal’s team selection as the Dutchman revealed on Wednesday that he could be without several first-team players once the Premier League action resumes after the international break.
United visit Arsenal on 22nd November in what promises to be a spectacular match, but Van Gaal insisted he will probably not be able to call on the services of star striker Radamel Falcao and defenders Rafael, Phil Jones and Johny Evans.
Falcao’s calf injury has kept him out of action for a few weeks, and the Colombian recently took to Twitter to blast rumours about his knee injury requiring constant attention.
Phil Jones and Johny Evans are still recovering from their foot injuries, whereas Rafael has a muscular problem.
When asked if any of the four would make it to the Arsenal game, Van Gaal said,” No, I don’t think so because now some of them have already not played for five, six, seven weeks. They could sit on the bench because they can play 20 minutes but I cannot put a lot of players who are not 100% fit on the bench. You saw what happened with [Paddy] McNair [getting cramp against Crystal Palace] because the rhythm of the game is very high in the Premier League.”
The constant defensive injuries and team upheavals have not helped Manchester United this season, and goalkeeper David De Gea recently spoke out on the stress involved in playing behind different defensive combinations every week.
“As a goalkeeper it’s important to form a good understanding with your back four and become familiar with each other’s positions on the pitch. It’s difficult when the players aren’t there but you have to adapt and concentrate on your job. The experience has definitely helped me improve.
“We would never use excuses but it’s always going to be a big setback when we have injuries and some sendings-off as well. It makes everyone’s work that bit more difficult.
“In terms of maintaining a solid level of performance we need to have the consistency of players in the squad so hopefully everyone will be fit very soon. That will help us continue to improve.”
United’s win over Crystal Palace last weekend put them in touching distance of that coveted fourth place, and with Arsenal suffering a dip in form, Van Gaal will be hoping to visit Emirates with the intention of getting all three points to continue his team’s revival in fortunes.
Robin Van Persie out of Holland friendly
Netherlands manager Guus Hiddink has revealed that Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie is set to sit out his team’s friendly with Mexico on Wednesday with a slight niggle.
Van Persie, who has not enjoyed a prolific season this time and has struggled of late, picked up a “minor injury” in training, although he is expected to be fit to face Latvia on Sunday in Netherlands’ Euro 2016 qualifier.