Marcus Rashford is back in training and will hope to help Manchester United’s cause as the Red Devils chase a win against Huddersfield on Sunday.
Manchester United’s pitfall in terms of results have seen them slip away from being tipped to make the top four to having only a slim chance of doing so, with the Red Devils three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with just two games to go. But, there is positive news for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Marcus Rashford back in training and set to be in contention to start against Huddersfield on Sunday.
In other news, Sergio Romero is out injured, having tweaked his knee earlier this week. This confirms David de Gea’s spot in goal, despite the Spaniard’s recent debacles. The defensive options have also been marginalised with issues, with Eric Bailly the latest to join the list, having been forced to come off against Chelsea. The manager shed some light on Bailly’s situation in the pre-match conference.
“Eric [Bailly] has probably been the one smiling the most out of all of us because you fear the worst. You fear the cruciate. You’re always worried that it might be nine or 12 months out, but we think he’ll be back for pre-season, so that’s positive.”
Bailly is not the only defender that is giving Solskjaer selection headaches. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are also doubtful and while Antonio Valencia has returned to training, he is unlikely to be involved on Sunday. Victor Lindelof, Ashley Young and Luke Shaw are certain starters against Huddersfield. The last spot might be a toss-up between Jones and Smalling, with the former likely to be preferred.
In midfield, Solskjaer would have been happy with how Manchester United performed against Chelsea and will retain the diamond. Nemanja Matic will sit deep at the base, with Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba the designated central midfielders, while Juan Mata should reprise the number 10 role, especially with Jesse Lingard not fit enough. Scott McTominay should be an option from the bench.
In attack, Romelu Lukaku is nursing an injury but is likely to be in the matchday squad, if not the starting eleven. Marcus Rashford is back in training and will also be in contention to start against Huddersfield. But, we could see a start being handed to Anthony Martial, who has been criticised for his attitude recently. Solskjaer would hope public criticism will spur Martial on to a good display.
Alexis Sanchez is also an option for Solskjaer. But, with Rashford back in contention, we are likely to see the Manchester United academy graduate being preferred over the Chilean. Mason Greenwood would have been in consideration. But, the player injured himself in training and Solskjaer was hopeful of Greenwood’s participation in the last game of the season.
Solskjaer said, “Mason [Greenwood] started off this week training but then he’s out injured again, unfortunately. We were looking at bringing him into the squad for the last two games – maybe he’ll make the last one [against Cardiff].”
James Garner, Lee O’Connor, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong trained with the first-team this week and we could see some of them being named on the bench on Sunday.