Should Eric Bailly make his comeback against Burnley?

Eric Bailly was on the bench for Manchester United against Liverpool at the weekend.

Now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to decide whether to bring the Ivory Coast centre-back into the starting line-up this week against Burnley.

It might make sense to rest Harry Maguire. The Telegraph report he is playing on with ‘a small hip tear’.

Maguire and Lindelöf performed really well away at Burnley, keeping a clean sheet. But Eric Bailly is a strong, imposing defender, and is capable of dealing with the Clarets’ physical game plan.

To add to the mix at centre-back, ESPN reported Lindelöf was sent home ill from training today with illness.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Return

Bailly is making his return from a knee injury suffered in pre-season for United against Tottenham back in July.

He has had terrible luck with injuries in his United career since his £30 million move from Villarreal.

He has made two appearances for the under-23s since returning to fitness.

United could look to ease Bailly back into action by starting him in a back three. Lindelöf’s illness makes this more difficult, although Luke Shaw is an option there.

Wait one more game?

It is important United get it right with Bailly. Solskjaer may have been leaning to wait one more game prior to the Lindelöf development.

He may not have that luxury now if Lindelöf is not passed fit.

On Sunday, United have a FA Cup fixture, away to Watford or Tranmere, who play a replay on Thursday night.

It is an option to start Bailly in the cup game, and bring him off the bench at Burnley to ease him back in.

Much will depend on Harry Maguire’s fitness, and whether either he, or Victor Lindelöf, need a rest on Wednesday after the game at Anfield.

Luke Shaw and Phil Jones are United’s alternatives at centre-back beyond Bailly. The fact he was on the bench at the weekend was encouraging.

It is good to see Bailly so close to a comeback, and we just hope he can get back to the level he was once at.

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