Team news prior to Crystal Palace clash
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be forced to end our recent run of keeping the same starting XI when the Reds take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Thursday.
Left-back Luke Shaw, who has started every one of United’s 18 unbeaten matches in all competitions, including our last five Premier League games when we’ve stuck with the same line-up, limped off during the 2-2 draw with Southampton on Monday.
The 25-year-old pulled up towards the end of the game at Old Trafford, and the boss revealed that his fitness is being monitored ahead of our clash with the Eagles.
“Luke has got a swollen ankle, so hopefully I'll give him as much time as possible to recover - it was a twist on his ankle,” Ole told reporters at his pre-match press conference.
Highlights: United 2 Southampton 2Video
United could have a further issue in Shaw’s position, with the man who replaced him on Monday, Brandon Williams, also departing the pitch early due to a nasty-looking clash of heads with Saints’ Kyle Walker-Peters.
Ole added that the pair haven’t trained since the game, but that they would be given a chance to prove their fitness before Thursday’s trip to south London.
“Brandon's eye, he cut up his eye there, so I don't really know. We've not trained this morning, none of them trained yesterday, so they were both swollen and I'll give them as much time as possible to get ready.”
Diogo Dalot, who hasn’t started in the league since October’s defeat to Newcastle, could fill in on the left-hand side of defence if Shaw and Williams are out, having featured in that role on a couple of occasions last season.
Youngster Ethan Laird may also be an option – like Dalot, he is a right-back and has played in that position in each of his two first-team appearances to date, but could fill in on the left if needed.
Axel Tuanzebe, who played at left-back against Arsenal earlier in the season, hasn’t featured since the restart and is unlikely to play until September due to injury. Centre-back Phil Jones also remains on the sidelines.
Ole added that he may look to freshen up his team further, although any selection decision would be based upon the Palace game and not looking ahead to the Emirates FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea on Sunday.
“The team selection for Thursday is based on Thursday, not on Sunday. Sunday is irrelevant, it doesn't come into my head at all. It's just Thursday, so we'll see.
“The injury situation, there was a couple of doubts before the Southampton one, but they all reported fit on the day. And hopefully we can give them time now and not having to leave players out of injury, but as you say, there might be one or two fresh legs coming in.”
PALACE TEAM NEWS
Christian Benteke is suspended following his red card at the end of Palace's defeat to his former side Aston Villa, which could mean that Jordan Ayew – the Eagles’ top scorer this season, with nine league goals – reverts to centre-forward.
Gary Cahill pulled his hamstring against his ex-employers Chelsea recently and, with James Tomkins also sidelined, Roy Hodgson may keep faith with Scott Dann and Mamadou Sakho at the heart of his defence. Jeffrey Schlupp, who once had a spell with our Reserves, has also been absent.