Manchester United face West Bromwich Albion on Saturday at Old Trafford without the injured Antonio Valencia and the suspended Matteo Darmian, but Louis van Gaal may be able to welcome back France international Morgan Schneiderlin


Manchester United currently lie in fourth place in the English Premier League table, four points behind Arsenal FC and Manchester City. However, the Red Devils are set to begin what looks like a winnable run of fixtures on paper, starting with Saturday’s clash against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Louis van Gaal confirmed the absence of Ecuadorian Antonio Valencia, revealing that the former Wigan Athletic winger might have to have surgery due to the ankle injury he picked up in the 0-0 draw against Manchester City .

Valencia out, Schneiderlin absence explained

Van Gaal provided an update on his injured players in his pre-match press conference, confirming the unavailability of Valencia, while also explaining the reason for the absence of France international Morgan Schneiderlin. The Manchester United manager is quoted by the official club website as saying:

“There are no injuries, only illnesses. Morgan Schneiderlin was ill. He shall train today for the first time so we have to wait and see. I cannot say there are a lot of changes for this game. Matteo Darmian is suspended so he cannot play and Valencia is injured. I think he shall be operated on but I have to wait and see if that is true.”

With Darmian seemingly out of form, the news regarding Valencia will come as a major blow to Manchester United, who are already missing the services of young Englishman Luke Shaw. However, with Marcos Rojo finding form, and with the likes of Ashley Young being able to play as full-back if needed, Van Gaal will feel he has enough options to be able to cope.

Jesse Lingard could start after impressing Van Gaal

The England U21 international has been involved in the last six matches Manchester United have played, but is yet to make a Premier League start. That could change on Saturday however, with manager Louis van Gaal acknowledging Lingard’s contribution to the team of late.

“Hea s doing well,” said the Dutchman (via “Thata s why I want to keep him and why I have said his chances shall come. He has a lot of pace and I like pace on the wings. Now he has first assist also [against CSKA]. I think he shall have a boost from this game because he played very well, in my opinion, and I hope he shall continue.”

Memphis Depay and Juan Mata have been preferred on the left and right of the attacking midfield respectively, but the Dutch youngster in particular is out of form and uncharacteristically, seems low on confidence at the moment. Van Gaal could see this as the perfect opportunity to bed in one of the club’s most promising young players in Jesse Lingard.