Anthony Martial will return while Luke Shaw is suspended as Manchester United prepare to welcome West Ham United to Old Trafford on Saturday.
Manchester United will be aiming to end their two-game losing run when they play hosts to West Ham United at Old Trafford on Saturday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer though, has a fair few problems on his hands ahead of this weekend’s clash.
The major issue surrounds the two full-back slots, with both Ashley Young and Luke Shaw suspended. While Young will be unavailable for just the game against West Ham, Shaw will serve the first of his two-match ban on Saturday.
United squad vs West Ham:
De Gea, Romero, Grant
Dalot, Smalling, Darmian, Lindelof, Rojo, Jones
McTominay, Fred, Pogba, Mata, Pereira, Gomes, Lingard
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) April 12, 2019
While Diogo Dalot is set to be one of the two full-backs on the day, the other spot is up for grabs, albeit without a single reliable option at Solskjaer’s disposal. The Manchester United boss addressed the situation in an interview with the club’s official website ahead of his presser.
“We don’t have full-backs this week. Not too many as we’ve lost Luke and Ashley through suspension. Antonio [Valencia] is still not fit. Maybe Matteo [Darmian] will be available for the bench and [Marcos] Rojo has been training for a while.”
“He’s available and we’ve got Jonah [Phil Jones], who could also play there. Rojo needed to get out on the big pitch [in the Under-23s, against West Brom last Friday] so he could have that game but we’ve had a couple of practice matches so let’s see what we decide.”
Judging by Solskjaer’s comments, it is likely that Phil Jones will start as a right-back, a role he has reprised previously. At the heart of the Manchester United defence, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof are certain starters, especially with Eric Bailly still out. Behind them, David de Gea is a certain starter in goal.
Solskjaer also has his fair share of problems in midfield, with Nemanja Matic battling illness and Ander Herrera out with a knock. The Manchester United manager provided an update on Matic and Herrera during his pre-match press conference.
“We’re getting better and better but, of course, Nemanja fell ill. “I’m not sure he’s going to be ready. He’s been working really hard to get fit from his injury that he sustained against Liverpool. Then he came back and he got a different one here in training, because he’s been really putting a lot of work in.”
With Herrera a definite absentee and Matic unlikely to start, the midfield trident from the game against Barcelona – Scott McTominay, Fred and Paul Pogba – should retain their places. Up ahead in attack, Marcus Rashford is the only one likely to keep his place.
The rotation between Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku looks set to continue against West Ham, with Martial replacing Lukaku as Rashford’s strike partner. The two young forwards should be supported by Jesse Lingard, who will have a free role behind the front two.