Manchester United have been hit by a spate of injuries ahead of their weekend encounter against Leicester City at Old Trafford.
After a run of three games without a win, Manchester United will be hoping to turn things around when they clash against third-placed Leicester City at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.
A defeat to Crystal Palace and draws against Wolves and Southampton have left Manchester United in a bit of a pickle this early in the season and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be keen on getting things back on track. However, the Red Devils’ situation hasn’t been helped by the number of injuries in the squad.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (back) and Jesse Lingard (illness) withdrew from the England national squad due to their respective issues and are doubts for the game, while Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial have been ruled out. Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot and Eric Bailly remain sidelined for the 20-time English champions.
Speaking of the situation in his pre-match presser, Solskjaer said, “Well, the treatment room has been busy and still is. We don’t really know who is going to be available. Maybe Aaron, maybe Jesse and I think maybe that’s it from the ones that had to pull out [of the internationals], but I can’t promise those two will be available either.”
So, there are likely to be a few changes to the team that started against Southampton last time out. David de Gea should continue between the sticks for Manchester United, while the centre-back partnership of Victor Lindelof and former Leicester star Harry Maguire should remain intact as well.
But, with Solskjaer appearing non-committal over Wan-Bissaka’s condition, captain Ashley Young could slot in at right-back against the Foxes, paving way for Marcos Rojo to start at left-back.
Pogba’s unavailability will come as a big blow for Manchester United. The midfielder picked up an ankle injury against Southampton and the manager hopes to have him back before next week’s fixture against West Ham United.
“Pogba won’t be fit, no, unless he’s had a miraculous recovery overnight from yesterday to today or maybe from tonight to tomorrow. He’s not been ready to do 100 per cent training, no. We hope, as I’ve said, that more can be ready for West Ham next week and Paul and Anthony are in that category,” Solskjaer said.
Nemanja Matic is set to start his first game of the 2019-20 season in Pogba’s absence. The Serb has been unhappy with the lack of game time coming his way, but will get his chance to fight his way back into the side on Saturday. He will be partnered by academy graduate Scott McTominay in the double pivot for Manchester United.
Juan Mata should don the No. 10 role for United. With Pogba absent, the creative onus will be on the Spaniard. In-form man Daniel James should continue on the left flank, but there could be a change on the opposite wing with Mason Greenwood likely to come in for the ineffective Andreas Pereira. Marcus Rashford should continue to spearhead the attack.
Predicted Manchester United XI: de Gea; Young, Lindelof, Maguire, Rojo; McTominay, Matic; Greenwood, Mata, James; Rashford