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Five missing ahead of Crystal Palace clash

Manchester United's injury list continues to be a problem, with the defence looking threadbare ahead of the weekend.

Laurence Griffiths

In his pre-weekend press conference, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed that five players will be missing from United's squad to play Crystal Palace this Saturday. As well as Marcos Rojo, out for six weeks with a dislocated shoulder, United's other injury absentees are Phil Jones, Radamel Falcao and Jonny Evans. Chris Smalling is, of course, serving a one game suspension after he made a fool of himself last Sunday.

However, Van Gaal would not be drawn on how he plans to approach the game. "I have to solve a problem. I don't want to say who is playing yet. If I say that [what we have done in training] then I give away what I'm trying to do. We've trained today but I may do things differently."

On Falcao's persistent injury, Van Gaal would not be drawn on a return date, but appeared to dismiss concerns about his form. "The problem for Falcao is because of balance in the game. I had to change, he came in and assisted a goal. Then in training he was injured. I cannot judge now because he is injured and I changed him not because of his performance but because of the balance of the team, which is much more important than the individual."

UPDATE: There are, in fact, six absentees, as Van Gaal has just confirmed to MUTV that Rafael will also be missing. Why he didn't mention this in his main press conference, and so save TBB the bother of an inaccurate headline and this update, nobody seems to know. Thanks, Louis. Thanks.