Solskjaer reveals why Lindelof is missing
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained his team selection to face Watford at Old Trafford and revealed why in-form Victor Lindelof is absent from the 17 on duty for the Premier League match.
The Swedish centre back withdrew from his country’s internationals during the break and wasn't selected by the Reds, ending a run of 12 consecutive matches for the side.
But newly appointed permanent manager Solskjaer said: “Victor is not injured but he’s had some issues. He had a tough week so Victor will come back soon.”
Solskjaer’s first starting XI since being getting the manager’s job on a three-year contract on Thursday contains four changes from the Reds' disappointing exit from the Emirates FA Cup at Wolves. David De Gea, Ashley Young, Phil Jones and Juan Mata didn’t play in the 2-1 quarter-final defeat at Molineux, but that quartet come in against Watford to replace Sergio Romero, Diogo Dalot, Lindelof and Jesse Lingard in the line-up to start against the Hornets.
“We feel it’s a good team we’ve put out. There are a couple we’re still nurturing. Jesse (Lingard) and Romelu (Lukaku) are not ready to play a full game yet," added the boss.
“It’s been a good training week with really good focus and intensity and it looks alright.”
United haven’t played at Old Trafford for 28 days since we beat Southampton in the Premier League on March 2.
Since that victory they produced the sensational, memorable and dramatic 3-1 win in Paris against PSG in the Champions League, United have lost successive matches for the first time under Solskjaer.
Ole is certain to get a rapturous welcome now he has been announced officially as the boss.
“This is not about me, you know. Of course I’m happy to know I’m here for the future and today is where we start,” he said.
“Today is really the beginning of our work together. It’s a mini-league left with eight games and, if we manage to get 18-20 points, we will be in the top three.
"We have two tough challenges coming up [against Watford and Wolves]. Obviously, they’ve both got FA Cup semi-finals to look forward to and maybe that plays on their mind. I hope so but we’ve got two cup finals. We know how important it is to get points in the league.”
Marcus Rashford who missed England’s Euro 2020 qualifiers, and Anthony Martial (France) plus Nemanja Matic (Serbia) are all back in the United XI today.
Romelu Lukaku missed the cup tie with Wolves and Belgium's subsequent Euro 2020 qualifiers with a foot problem but is on the bench.
United: De Gea; Young (c), Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Mata, Rashford, Martial. Subs: Romero, Dalot, Rojo, Andreas, Fred, Lingard, Lukaku.
Watford: Foster, Janmaat, Britos, Kabasele, Masina, Capoue, Hughes, Doucoure, Pereyra, Deulofeu, Deeney