Ole's team news update for Wednesday
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has delivered a brief update on his team plans for Manchester United's first Old Trafford game after the restart, against Sheffield United on Wednesday (18:00 BST kick-off).
The Reds approach the match against our fellow top-four contenders on the back of a 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur last Friday. Sheffield United drew with Aston Villa last week, before losing at Newcastle United on Sunday, and currently sit two points and two places below Ole's fifth-placed side.
There was much food for thought following our game in the capital, with the boss having plenty to mull over in terms of his team selection, including consideration for the various levels of fitness across the squad.
Ole has revealed in his pre-match interview with us that everybody came through the Spurs clash unscathed, which is good news regarding Victor Lindelof, who was forced off during the second half. Scott McTominay, who has signed a new contract, initially switched to centre-back before Eric Bailly was introduced in the closing stages.
“Yeah. We don’t have any other injury issues,” the Norwegian told Stewart Gardner. “I think they all managed to get through the game. They were tired towards the end, some of them, but we’ve got another 90 minutes under our belt and we’re ready to go again.”
Paul Pogba's outstanding cameo as a substitute suggested he is pushing hard for a start despite still being treated carefully after his lengthy lay-off, while Nemanja Matic and Mason Greenwood also earned praise for their contributions after entering the fray.
Even with nine subs now allowed in these remaining Premier League fixtures, the boss will have a headache over which players to leave out, although Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe were unavailable last week because of injury.
“Yeah. I’ve got a strong squad,” he continued. “We have put two good XIs out in internal matches, in-house matches, and still players are not able to get onto the pitch. So the squad is strong, and when the game gets towards the last 15-20 minutes, it opens up and it stretches. Then you need fresh legs to make a difference, and we certainly had players who made an impact when they came on against Spurs.”
It will be an unusual occasion at a largely empty Old Trafford but the manager is convinced his players can still show their best form.
"We love walking out at Old Trafford," he said. "It's a different experience but we have the urge to get back and start winning games. Hopefully, we can put our best performance on.
“It's a different way of playing and is a different mental challenge. It might be more relaxing for some but it's very different. Maybe, when you're at home and you're struggling, you struggle with the home fans on your back. But we'll miss out on the fans because I've never heard more supportive fans.
“It's more difficult to play at Old Trafford without fans than with them."
NEWS FROM THE BLADES' CAMP
Highly rated keeper Dean Henderson is ineligible due to the terms of his loan move from the Reds. Simon Moore deputised in the 3-3 draw at Bramall Lane earlier this season.
Defender John Egan is also absent, due to suspension, following his red card in the Blades' 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United last time out.
Veteran centre-back Phil Jagielka should be available, despite an ankle problem, while Jack O'Connell is making good progress after suffering a knee injury.We are all United as the Reds go marching on! On sale now, get your 2019/20 kit while stocks last.