Team news for United v Liverpool cup clash
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed that one of his key defenders should be available for Manchester United's Emirates FA Cup fourth-round clash with Liverpool on Sunday.
Victor Lindelof has been struggling with a back injury in recent months, and has had to sit out five of our seven matches since pulling up at Leicester on Boxing Day.
The Sweden international did return for the 0-0 draw at Anfield in the Premier League but Ole suggested that he needed a break in midweek in order to be ready for the next instalment of English football’s most famous rivalry.
“Victor will be fine for the weekend,” Solskjaer said during his pre-match press conference, conducted after the Fulham game at Craven Cottage on Wednesday night.
“It was just too quick a turnaround we felt with the travel with his back. I wanted to play Eric [Bailly] against Fulham and Victor wasn’t ready anyway, so we now have four days extra [for Victor].
“He got some treatment [on Wednesday] and did some light training so he should be ready for the weekend.”
Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Bruno Fernandes could all feature at the Theatre of Dreams, after escaping suspensions. The trio were a booking away from a one-match ban, but all of them avoided the referee’s notebook at Craven Cottage and the amnesty has now been raised from five to 10 yellow cards.
However, they would always have been available for this tie as the rules only relate to the Premier League, rather than the domestic cups.
It looks like Brandon Williams and Phil Jones are United’s only injury concerns, and, other than Lindelof, the most pressing question in regards to team selection will be how far the boss goes in terms of rotation.
Watch Ole's pre-Liverpool FA Cup briefingVideo
Ole hasn’t picked the same XI for two consecutive games this season, and he confirmed that he would once again mix it up.
Whether that entails two or three changes – with, for example, the likes of Lindelof, Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford being brought back in – or the wholesale reshuffle we saw against Watford in the third round, remains to be seen.
“We’ll rotate that’s for sure, but we’ll put a decent team together of course and a team that I feel can win the game,” the manager added.
LIVERPOOL’S TEAM NEWS
Jurgen Klopp’s men are struggling for form, with no wins in their last five league games – they’ve failed to score in the most recent four, which is the Merseysiders’ worst run since 2000. Summer signing Diogo Jota is expected to ease the goalscoring burden when he returns from a knee injury, although that prospect is still some weeks away.
The centre of defence is also a concern for the German coach, with Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk long-term absentees, while captain Jordan Henderson – who filled in as part of the back four against United last weekend – missed out on Thursday’s defeat to Burnley with a muscular problem. His fellow midfielder Naby Keita is also set to miss out.