Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has conceded that he’s likely to be without a string of key first-team players for their encounter with Leicester City on Saturday.
The Red Devils started the new Premier League season well with a big win over Chelsea, but they’ve since managed to pick up just two points from games against Wolves, Crystal Palace and Southampton.
In turn, the atmosphere may have dipped slightly prior to the international break, and so Solskjaer will be hoping for a morale-boosting win this weekend to lift spirits.
It’s a difficult challenge too with Leicester still unbeaten and being fancied by many to push to break into the top six this season, and so the pressure will be on at Old Trafford for United to get a positive result.
However, Solskjaer will have to try and do so without Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Jesse Lingard could also be out, as per his comments in his press conference on Friday below and freelance injury analyst Ben Dinnery’s tweet below.
“Well, the treatment room has been busy and still is,” he said, as per the club’s official site. “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.
“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. I think they’ll be ready for then and I can’t say more than that really.”
No Pogba for United this w/e while Martial and Shaw have not progressed as hoped; they too, miss the visit of Leicester. No decision on Lingard (illness) or Wan-Bissaka (back). Bailly and Dalot long-term although the latter is close after his visit to see a "miracle doctor" #MUFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) September 13, 2019
Time will tell if Wan-Bissaka and Lingard can offer late fitness boosts for the Man Utd boss, but ultimately with the Europa League starting next week too, he’ll surely want to avoid taking any risks and seeing players ruled out for even longer.
Nevertheless, this is a vital game as a win could really give everyone a boost after a stuttering start, while defeat could amplify the concerns at the club. In turn, it’s a nightmare scenario for Solskjaer that he’s having to face up to an injury crisis like the one he has on his hands currently.