Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed that all players except Michael Carrick will be up for selection for their trip to West Ham United on Sunday, a luxury that the Dutchman has rarely had in the season so far.
Battling with an injury-hit squad for the past few months, Van Gaal has had to make the best out of the limited options he had. But with the season reaching a crucial point, and United in desperate need of consolidating a spot in the top four of the Premier League, a reduced injury list would definitely be a reason to be happy about.
Manchester United are currently third in the league table, with Southampton and Arsenal close at their heels with a one point gap. The Red Devils have also progressed to the fifth round in the FA Cup and will be riding high on confidence following their four-match winning streak.
Coupled with that is the fact that the Old Trafford outfit now has an array of fit defenders to choose from, and with Ashley Young also making his return, Michael Carrick, who is out for a month due to a ruptured muscle, will be the only one not available for the game at Upton Park.
“We have only one injury,” Van Gaal was quoted as saying by Manchester United’s official website.
“And he is doing well. He shall also return very fast I think, better than we expect maybe, but it is always [a] wait and see [situation]”, the manager added.
While things look bright for the Manchester based side, Sam Allardyce has a long absentee list to worry about, especially in the defence.
Winston Reid and James Collins are both doubtful for tomorrow, and so are Carl Jenkinson and Guy Demel. Though Senegalese midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate will make a comeback, Diego Poyet, Doneil Henry and Andy Carroll are all reported to be facing some issues.
“I’ve had to bring a list of the injuries with me. James Collins, Winston Reid, Guy Demel, Diego Poyet, Doneil Henry and Andy Carroll lie in our medical room at the moment”, the Hammers’ boss was quoted as saying by the Independent.
“We’re not sure how many of those will make it for Sunday. With such a big week coming, three games in a week, there’ll be very few risks taken, unless they’re 100 per cent fit. If we play them it may exacerbate the injuries so we will go to battle with what we’ve got”, Allardyce added.
Manchester United’s probable line-up: David De Gea, Marcos Rojo, Jonny Evans, Luke Shaw, Paddy McNair, Daley Blind, Wayne Rooney, Angel Di Maria, Juan Mata, Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao.
West Ham United’s probable line-up: Adrián, Joey O’Brien, Aaron Cresswell, James Tomkins, Cheikhou Kouyate, Kevin Nolan, Stewart Downing, Mark Noble, Alex Song, Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho