Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the bearer of bad news at his press conference this morning.
He confirmed Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial are both out of the Leicester fixture with injury.
He told ESPN: “Pogba won’t be fit unless he has had a miraculous recovery overnight or before the game. He has not been ready to do 100% training.”
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Jesse Lingard are doubts, with Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw also out.
This shows United are really stretched at full-back, and this weekend it is a real dilemma.
This week we had raised the possibility of Axel Tuanzebe stepping in for Victor Lindelöf at centre-back, but with so many other changes necessary, this would now be a bad idea, with the Swede’s experience needed.
Here are the two big decisions United face, working on the basis neither Wan-Bissaka and Lingard do not recover…
- Full-back. United have to choose where to deploy Ashley Young. (A) Play him at left-back, and potentially pick Axel Tuanzebe on the right. (B) Pick Young at right-back, and select Marcos Rojo on the left. Brandon Williams is an option, but Solskjaer had Rojo on the bench ahead of the teenager against Southampton.
- Right wing. Solskjaer has hinted Matic and Mata will play in midfield with McTominay. This means Andreas Pereira could start on the right wing again. It did not go well against Southampton, and we would rather see Mason Greenwood play there. It is about time Solskjaer trusted the teenager.
Here is the team we believe Solskjaer could now pick to face Leicester…
The quality of opponent could impact Solskjaer’s thinking despite the injury crisis.
Calls for Angel Gomes and Brandon Williams to start are understandable given the injuries, but Leicester are a top quality team and might not be the ‘soft’ opponents Solskjaer would like to pick them against.
Not giving them a proper chance prior to now hurts, as they could have proven themselves, ready for this injury crisis against a top team.
If the experienced players do not step up, then it becomes even harder to justify holding back United’s young stars.
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