Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be without just three first-team players when Manchester United host Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday
Manchester United will be aiming to continue their fine winning run under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, when they welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon. And, the caretaker boss will be buoyed by the emptying treatment room at the club.
Ahead of Brighton’s visit on Saturday, both Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo have resumed light training, although the duo still have some way to go before they become available for selection. Solskjaer provided the update on both Smalling and Rojo as well as Marouane Fellaini, who is out with a calf injury, amid his uncertain Manchester United future.
United squad vs Brighton:
De Gea, Romero, Grant
Dalot, Bailly, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw
Matic, Pereira, Herrera, Pogba, Mata, Lingard
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) January 18, 2019
“Chris and Marcos just started running lightly so they’re not fit yet. Felli is the long-term one who is out. He’ll be out for a few weeks. That’s sad because there are ‘X factors’ in different players and we all know Felli’s ‘X factor’, but then again he’ll be working hard to get back for when all the big games are coming as well.”
With Smalling and Rojo out, Solskjaer has just Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly, who is now available after serving his three-match suspension, as the recognised centre-backs at his disposal. Jones and Lindelof though, should continue their partnership at the heart of the Manchester United defence.
Luke Shaw should retain his place on the left side of the defence, but it looks like Diogo Dalot will start on the opposite flank, with Ashley Young not being a part of the squad that arrived at the Lowry Hotel, as reported by the reliable Manchester Evening News.
In midfield, Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic are certain starters, with Matic and Pogba also making themselves available after missing training this week for the birth of their respective children. Meanwhile, Solskjaer reported positive news on Alexis Sanchez during his pre-match press conference.
“Alexis has trained all week, so hopefully he comes through the session today and will be available. He is a player who loves to play football, it doesn’t matter who you are, you want to play football. And he’s been hindered by injury. I know all about injuries and how frustrating that can be and how eager you are to get back.”
“He’s working hard in training and as I said to you before, his attitude in training has been fantastic. And he wants to play. So for me, I’m looking forward to seeing him, but I have loads of good players to choose from.”
Sanchez though, is likely to miss out on making the starting lineup, with Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford expected to continue in the Manchester United attack against Brighton. As a result, Sanchez, alongside Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata, will likely be the impact substitutes.