In the pre-match press conference ahead of Manchester United’s eagerly-anticipated clash against Leeds on Sunday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer offered an update on the fitness of two defenders.
The Red Devils’ historic rivalry with the Yorkshire outfit will be reignited this weekend after Leeds’ return to the top-flight after a lengthy absence, in a massive match for both fanbases.
Solskjaer was questioned on whether the fact that Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have played the entire 90 minutes in the side’s last nine Premier League games was ‘taxing’ on the duo.
After he raved about the pair, he also offered an update on the side’s other two centre-back options Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe, stating that the duo are recovering from ‘small injuries’.
Solskjaer is hoping that Bailly and Tuanzebe are ‘available’ for the clash against Leeds, but the Norwegian didn’t exactly suggest that the usual centre-back pairing will be rotated.
Here’s what Solskjaer had to say on Manchester United’s four prime centre-backs; Maguire, Lindelof, Bailly and Tuanzebe… pic.twitter.com/sHSJVK4bI0
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“Victor (Lindelof) and Harry (Maguire), they’ve been very consistent, even last season as well I thought they were excellent.”
“Eric (Bailly) and Axel (Tuanzebe) they’ve had small injuries, they’re available for us for Leeds I hope, so let’s see what we do.”
“Obviously Harry played the most minutes in European football last season I think and I think he’s enjoying playing, Victor as well is maturing, growing and getting more and more used to the demands of the Premier League.”
“They’ve been very consistent, I’m very happy with them but it might come to a point that they’ve got to rest of course.”
Academy graduate Tuanzebe has started two of his five appearances so far this season, with the 23-year-old seeing 223 minutes of action so far.
Injury-prone Bailly on the other hand has played more minutes than Tuanzebe, despite being sidelined for some time, with 277 minutes from his four appearances across all competitions.
With the hectic Christmas period on the horizon, it’s no surprise to see that Solskjaer was questioned on possible rotation at the heart of the defence.
Maguire and Lindelof have looked fairly steady so far this season, helping the side grind out the wins, Solskjaer’s ‘rest’ comment does suggest that they may be offered a break at some ‘point’ though.