Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole provides Shaw and Rashford update

Friday 09 April 2021 13:30

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping to count on the participation of two key first-team players, for Sunday’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur.

Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw were both substituted early in Thursday’s 2-0 Europa League win in Granada.

The former has been playing through a foot injury in recent weeks but managed 65 minutes in Andalusia and did brilliantly to latch on to Victor Lindelof’s raking pass to score our opening goal.

Shaw, meanwhile, was replaced by the returning Alex Telles at half-time, with Solskjaer revealing after the game that our reigning Player of the Month just came off as a precaution, after also picking up a yellow card.

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The boss says that he’ll need to properly assess the pair once they’re back in Manchester but hopes they can be involved in north London.

“We’ll pick a team, probably I don’t think I will until [Friday] morning to be honest, because it will be difficult to prepare,” Ole told reporters on Thursday night.

“We’ll have to stay over here, fly back tomorrow [Friday] and Saturday will just be a day of recovery and see how the bodies feel.

“So I don’t know until then, but I hope both Luke and Marcus will be ready after tonight, yeah.”

With Anthony Martial potentially out for the season with a knee problem, United’s reliance on Rashford and fellow forwards Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani has increased.

Marcus has now passed the 20-goal barrier for the second consecutive season and Solskjaer sees no reason to be worried about him missing games towards the end of the season - and potentially the Euros for England - despite the possibility of having to manage his minutes more carefully.

“I don’t think you need to be concerned about his fitness,” Solskjaer added. “Of course, barring any injury. No, his fitness is really good.

“He’s an athletic boy, he’s a fit boy, strong boy, you can see tonight when he goes into headers and challenges, he can look after himself.

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“But, at one point, of course you hope to get to a position where he doesn’t have to play every game, every minute and, at the moment, of course we have to take him off because his foot is a little bit sore.

“So hopefully that’ll improve as the season goes on because I think he was better tonight than he was on Sunday.”

Solskjaer said that Paul Pogba had a “little niggle” during the game with Granada, but that he should be okay for the Spurs clash.

Eric Bailly has missed United’s last two games having tested positive for COVID-19 during the international break but other than the Ivorian, Martial and long-term absentee Phil Jones, the Reds will hope to have a clean bill of health, provided Shaw and Rashford are fit.

David De Gea played for the first time in a month back in his homeland, while Juan Mata also returned to the bench for the Reds in Andalusia.

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TOTTENHAM TEAM NEWS

Spurs full-backs Matt Doherty and Ben Davies are set to miss the weekend fixture, with both players having suffered injuries while away with their national teams, Republic of Ireland and Wales respectively.

The home side have been provided a defensive boost, however, as Serge Aurier and Toby Alderweireld have returned to training and are in contention to feature.

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