Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is set to miss out on the mid-week clash against West Ham because of international commitments.
After winning five games on the bounce for the first time in the league this season, Manchester United will be hoping to continue the chain of victories when they visit the Olympic Stadium for the first time to take on West Ham.
The Red Devils are set to be bereft of the services of star defensive stalwart Eric Bailly who is to join up with the Ivory Coast national side for the African Cup of Nations.
United reportedly made an appeal to delay the player’s arrival by another 24 hours to have him available for the game against the Hammers, but it was bluntly rejected by the Cote d’ Ivoire FA.
This will mean that Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are set to start at the heart of defence. At the start of the season, very few expected them to be United’s first-choice centre-back pairing, but manager Jose Mourinho has had to deploy them due to the unavailability of certain players.
However, Jones has been a decent option for the manager this term and is arguably the club’s in-form defender. Despite all his rash challenges, Rojo has been pretty solid at the back and has aided Jones whenever called upon.
Wayne Rooney, captain of club and country, is another first-team player likely to miss out the game. After being unavailable for United’s last two games due to a thigh injury, the 31-year-old may have to wait until the FA Cup clash against Reading to return to Mourinho’s side.
On the up side, veteran midfielder Michael Carrick is available and in contention to start against West Ham. The former England international missed his side’s 2-1 win against Middlesbrough on New Year’s eve due to an illness, but has travelled with the squad to London.
Daley Blind is a guaranteed absentee, as he has not been named in the squad to take on the Hammers. Ashley Young and Matteo Darmian could be pushing for a return after being excluded from the team last time round.