Ole sat in the dugout.

Ole's team news update for AZ Alkmaar clash

Wednesday 02 October 2019 16:37

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained his squad selection for Thursday's clash against AZ Alkmaar in Group L of the Europa League.

The Reds took a 21-man squad to the Netherlands for the game at ADO Den Haag's Cars Jeans Stadium, with Tahith Chong included for the trip to his homeland, as is James Garner, after both played in the Under-21s' 1-0 win over Lincoln City in the Leasing.com Trophy on Tuesday.

Angel Gomes and Diogo Dalot are also in the party after recovering from the knocks that kept them sidelined for the past week.

Tahith Chong had an impressive 45 minutes at Lincoln before being substituted in advance of making the senior squad.

Paul Pogba is out as he has an ankle problem, while defenders Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly are also missing. Anthony Martial is still unavailable but there is plenty of experience in the Reds' squad.

Although asked whether Martial and Shaw will make the weekend encounter with Newcastle United in the Premier League, the boss is concentrating on the job in hand.

"We've had Anthony out and I don't think he'll make it," said the boss. "Luke is training but I don't know if he'll make it. We'll speak more after the game as the sole focus is on getting the result we need here."

Pogba's absence was inevitably also a topic of debate at the press conference, with concerns over his availability for the Magpies trip, ahead of another international break.

"It’s after discussion with a specialist that we’ve planned that he needs further treatment and rest on his ankle," Ole explained. "And I probably wouldn’t risk him on astroturf anyway, even if he was available for this game. But he needs a bit of rest now."

Ole did suggest Juan Mata, who faced the media alongside him, would be in the team to work with some of his younger colleagues.

Paul Pogba has been struggling with an ankle problem he sustained against Southampton.

"It's an important game for us to get a result in," added the boss.

"One or two of our youngsters will get another chance to impress. They all want to be part of a long future here and these games are a chance for that.

"We'll have a mix of experience and youngsters."

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