Ole: How we'll cope without Lingard and Martial
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes his Manchester United squad still have enough quality in attack to overcome Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup on Monday evening, despite injuries to Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial.
The attacking pair are set to be out for two to three weeks after limping off in our midweek defeat to Paris Saint-Germain, but the caretaker manager says the setbacks haven’t prompted a rethink ahead of the fifth-round tie at Stamford Bridge.
“It changes when you get injuries, obviously, but no it’s not going to be a massive difference to what I did imagine,” Solskjaer said, when asked in his pre-match press conference at the Aon Training Complex on Friday afternoon if his plans had changed.
“We beat Arsenal in the last cup round without Anthony and without Rashy [Marcus Rashford]. Now, it’s without Anthony and Jesse, so I’m sure we’ll conjure up something.”
Alexis Sanchez, who replaced Lingard prior to half-time at Old Trafford against PSG on Tuesday night, could get the nod to start in West London, and Solskjaer is confident the Chilean forward can rediscover his form after returning from his own injury lay-off.
“He wins the ball, there’s energy there and, if he can just get that goal, hopefully it will release some of his confidence,” the Norwegian told reporters.
“I've been here for two months now with him and he’s been injured for the first part of it, so it’s unfair to just expect him to be at the top straightaway. I’m sure we’ll see the best of him until the end of the season.”
Romelu Lukaku featured as a late substitute against PSG but Solskjaer has suggested he’ll also have a big part to play against his former club Chelsea.
“Rom gives us something else than Jesse and Anthony, so don’t worry,
“ Ole added. ”He’s made an impact before. He did really well in the FA Cup, him and Alexis last time, so let’s see.”
Ole also hinted that youngsters Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes might be given an opportunity to impress.
“The young players can always surprise you in big games,” Solskjaer said on Friday,
“But it might be one step too early and one step too far. We’ve just got to spend the next couple of days [Saturday and Sunday] to decide on how we go.”
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