Manchester United fans started their Friday with grim news. Ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against high-flying Leicester City on Saturday, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the bearer of ill tidings in his press conference. Solskjaer confirmed that both Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial will definitely miss the game against the Foxes through injury, and are not a certainty to be fit for next weekend’s match against West Ham.
“Pogba won’t be fit, no, unless he’s had a miraculous recovery overnight from yesterday to today or maybe from tonight to tomorrow. He’s not been ready to do 100 percent training, no. We hope, as I’ve said, that more can be ready for West Ham next week and Paul and Anthony are in that category. I think they’ll be ready for then and I can’t say more than that really.”
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Jesse Lingard both withdrew from England duty with a back injury and illness respectively, and neither man is likely to start tomorrow, although either one may be fit enough to make the bench.
“Well, the treatment room has been busy and still is. We don’t really know who is going to be available. Maybe Aaron, maybe Jesse and I think maybe that’s it from the ones that had to pull out [of the internationals], but I can’t promise those two will be available either.”
With Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw already out with injury, Ashley Young is now the squad’s only fit full-back, which is about as depressing of a phrase as one can think of for a Manchester United website to publish. Marcos Rojo — an abominable player, we can’t stress this enough — could fill in at left-back, with Young on the opposite flank. Alternatively, both Axel Tuanzebe and Victor Lindelöf have been deployed at right-back before.
Solskjaer was typically optimistic in his outlook, citing the experienced players he has at his disposal to deputize for his injured stars.
“You’ve got players who can come in with loads of experience, Juan [Mata], Nemanja [Matić] and Ash [Young] who didn’t start the first game and have got to step up and the average age might go up.”
Oh dear. A midfield triangle of Matić, McTominay, and Mata, with Young making overlapping runs past Andreas Pereira on the right.
Our advice is to start drinking heavily at least ninety minutes prior to kickoff.