Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has confirmed that skipper Wayne Rooney will be fit to once again lead the side while Angel Di Maria will sit out, when they face Southampton at the St. Mary’s Stadium on Monday.
Recovering from a knee injury the player sustained during the Red Devils’ 3-0 win over Hull City last weekend, the English international, who had to sit out when Manchester United beat Stoke City 2-1 on Tuesday, will be back in action as his side chase their fifth consecutive win of the league this season.
But Argentine striker is still recovering from his hamstring injury and will be out of contention for United’s trip to Hampshire, after the player limped off the field against Hull, though the Dutch manager insists the injury isn’t that bad.
“It’s not a bad injury, but I am not a doctor. I have to say it like a manager, not like a doctor. But I think he shall recover very quickly”, Van Gaal said via the club’s official website.
However Luke Shaw (ankle), Phil Jones (calf), Rafael (groin) and Daley Blind (knee) are all set to miss out the fixture, but Jonny Evans has returned from his ankle injury and will be available for selection.
“Evans is coming back. He is fit to play. Jones is coming back but not fit to play. He needs training sessions and maybe also matches in the second team. But he is coming back. He is fit to train. That is also very good. We are seeing already light in the tunnel”, the 63-year-old coach added.
While the Old Trafford outfit have had a golden run in their last few outings and have climbed to fourth in the league table, Ronald Koeman’s side have been winless in their last three fixtures and are just one point ahead of United.
With midfielders James Ward-Prowse and Morgan Schneiderlin already side lined, the Saints lost Jack Cork to an ankle injury during Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat against Arsenal, and might also be without the services of defender Toby Alderweireld, who has a hamstring complaint.
But despite the mounting injury crisis, Koeman is confident that his side will better their recent performances after obtaining just one point from their last three games and get back to winning ways.
“If we play like we did last Wednesday we have chances to win on Monday. If we play like the last 20 minutes against City then we don’t win on Monday”, the manager was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“I believe in the way of playing and that is the most important thing because that has brought us all the points we have this season”, he added.
Manchester United’s possible starting line-up: David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick, Juan Mata, Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney
Southampton’s possible starting line-up: Fraser Forster, Nathaniel Clyne, Jose Fonte, Florin Gardos, Ryan Bertrand, Victor Wanyama, Maya Yoshida, Steven Davis, Dusan Tadic, Shane Long, Graziano Pelle