Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United training

United team news for Belgrade test

Wednesday 23 October 2019 18:56

Jesse Lingard's availability has boosted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's options as Manchester United prepare to face Partizan Belgrade on Matchday Three in the Europa League.

The winger has missed the Reds' last two games - away to Newcastle United and at home to Liverpool - but did feature as a substitute in the preceding European game against AZ Alkmaar.

Speaking exclusively to MUTV before his pre-match press conference at Partizan Stadium, Solskjaer enthused: "It's fantastic to have him back fit. He's been so lively and bubbly in training.

"I don't know how much game time we'll give him but he looks like he needs to catch up on lost time.

"It's been fantastic to see him with a big smile. I know Jesse from before. Of course now we expect him - and I think he expects - to kick on."
Jesse Lingard being put through his paces at the Aon Training Complex.

One of the notable absentees from Ole's 20-man squad is David De Gea, who did play in the Liverpool game of course, despite suffering a thigh injury a few days earlier while on duty for Spain.

"David will be ready for Sunday [away to Norwich City] but we didn’t take the risk of travelling with him, no," said Solskjaer, when asked about his no.1 at the start of the press conference.

The three United goalkeepers in Belgrade are Sergio Romero, Lee Grant and Academy youngster Matej Kovar, who played for the Under-23s in Monday night's 4-1 win at Swansea City.

Meanwhile, Ole acknowledged that two players - Luke Shaw and Nemanja Matic - are currently working on their fitness in Dubai, accompanied by members of United's backroom team.

"They have taken staff to go really hard on them," revealed the boss, "so I expect them back in Manchester by the weekend and we will see when they are available.”

When asked if another trip absentee, Paul Pogba, could be fit for the Norwich game and whether there is any news on a return date, Ole replied "no" to both questions.

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