Solskjaer explains reluctance to rest key United trio

While for players like Donny van de Beek and Eric Bailly, getting into the Manchester United team is a battle, for others it is a little easier.

Harry Maguire has started all 14 league games, while Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford are both on 13.

Amid this packed festive schedule, sooner or later they will be due a rest. Rashford kind of had one, being used only as a substitute in the Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Everton. Fernandes and Maguire have not had the same rest.

Photo by Carl Recine -Pool/Getty Images

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was asked whether any of the trio would get a rest, and he explained his reluctance. He even said that to keep playing, would benefit the players.

He told the club website: “Of course they have to be rested at certain points but then again we need points and we need to play strong teams and build on things.

“Even playing through when you’re a bit tired does develop you and improve you. If you see the best teams then they don’t rotate that much, the best players don’t rotate that much.”

Solskjaer did concede there would need to be some middle ground, adding: “It’s not walking tempo football that we demand. And if it’s 60 minutes full tilt then another one can do 30 because we have a big and strong bench as well.”

Another player who had started 13 league games, Victor Lindelof, picked up an injury at the weekend. He is likely to sit out against Wolves tonight. This highlights the risk of continuing to start players without rest.

In our predicted XI for this evening, we have forecast Fernandes may start on the bench, with Donny van de Beek coming in after sitting out the past four Premier League matches. Fernandes will no doubt come off the bench to play a part if needed.

For Maguire there is unlikely to be a rest, bearing in mind the injury to Lindelof. There is even more pressure on the United captain to play a key role and forge a partnership with Eric Bailly, or perhaps Axel Tuanzebe. Solskjaer is unlikely to be bold enough and go with both and leave Maguire out.

After this match with Wolves, there is another two days of full rest, before United have another home game against an in-form Aston Villa.

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