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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Early team news for Fulham v United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could have a plethora of options when he selects his next Manchester United line-up, for Saturday's early fixture against Fulham in the Premier League.

One player who could be in contention to return in the clash at Craven Cottage, and therefore feature against his former club, is Chris Smalling. The centre-back has not appeared in any of the 10 games under Solskjaer, having not played since the reverse fixture against Fulham in December, which the Reds won 4-1

Our no.12 sustained a sore foot that afternoon at Old Trafford which forced him off, but Ole said before the recent game against Burnley that Smalling had been training for a week and was “looking good”. He added that it was a case of carefully timing the defender's return to action.

Chris Smalling passes the ball.
Smalling has missed the last 12 United games, including 10 under Ole.

In Smalling's absence, a pair from Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones has operated at the heart of defence. Marcos Rojo is back in training after travelling to Argentina to aid his recovery from his latest injury setback. 

The Reds face a huge match next Tuesday evening against Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of our Champions League last-16 tie with the French champions. We also have crucial games against Liverpool in the league and Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup this month, as well as the second leg against PSG at the start of March.

Solskjaer has previously spoken of the importance of keeping his players fresh during this part of the campaign and squad rotation could be key throughout February.

United were boosted by the return of Anthony Martial as a substitute in last weekend's 1-0 win at Leicester City, after the Frenchman missed the 2-2 draw against Burnley with a minor injury he sustained in training.

There were also concerns ahead of the Leicester clash about Paul Pogba, who was struggling at the end of the Burnley game but he was fit to face Leicester and set up Marcus Rashford's winning goal with a sublime lobbed pass. Rashford, who scored in our win over Fulham two months ago, will be hoping to continue his excellent goalscoring form of late, having registered six goals in his last eight Premier League matches.

Solskjaer could provide an update on his squad in his exclusive interview with MUTV and pre-match press conference at the Aon Training Complex, which is set to take place on Friday at a time to be confirmed. 

HOW ARE FULHAM SHAPING UP?

The Cottagers could hand debuts to midfielder Lazar Markovic and defender Havard Nordtveit this weekend. The pair joined the Cottagers on transfer deadline day but were not included in the matchday squad for last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace, having signed just two days before the game.

Claudio Ranieri
Former Leicester and Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri is the manager of Saturday's opponents Fulham.

Former Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle could return after missing the Palace game through injury, but full-back Cyrus Christie is a doubt for Saturday's match after sustaining a knock in the loss at Selhurst Park. 

One man who is definitely unavailable for Claudio Ranieri’s side is defender Tim Fosu-Mensah, who is ineligible to play against his parent club United. Long-term absentees Marcus Bettinelli, Alfie Mawson and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa will also miss Saturday’s meeting in west London. 

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