Diogo Dalot may get chance to prove himself ahead of Manchester derby

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given an update on the fitness of his Manchester United squad ahead of the FA Cup trip to Derby County tomorrow night.

As per the club’s official website, Aaron Wan-Bissaka is struggling and that may well offer Diogo Dalot a chance to impress.

That could be a bigger opportunity than just a cup outing, with the Manchester derby just days away.

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What did Solskjaer say?

Solskjaer said in his pre-match press conference: “Yeah [James will] probably miss out on this one as well and Marcus and Paul are still out and I think Aaron might be struggling.

“He’s got a test today, but he struggled in our last game against Everton with his back, so he might be out.”

Against Championship opposition, Solskjaer may well decide to give Wan-Bissaka the night off against Derby, especially with the Manchester derby looming.

The obvious replacement would be Dalot, 20, who is still working his way back into the side after an injury lay-off.

He has made just five starts all season, three of which have come in the Europa League, playing 424 minutes in total across all competitions all season.

None of the starts were against opponents of the calibre of City and that’s why Solskjaer would likely want to see more proof from Dalot that he would be ready if thrown into a game of that magnitude.

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Big night for Dalot

Dalot’s performances in cup competitions against Tranmere and Brugge caught the eye but he is yet to show what he can do for United on a consistent basis.

Wan-Bissaka has been exceptional on two occasions against City this season and if he were to be ruled out this weekend, many fans would see it as a major blow.

But Dalot may well get an opportunity against Derby to put another strong display at right back and prove he’s capable of stepping up to the plate if called upon against City this weekend.

We all know about Dalot’s attacking qualities but he needs to show defensive stability in case he is called upon to stop Raheem Sterling and co this weekend.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.