Team news for huge clash with Chelsea
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is preparing his troops for the visit to Chelsea in Sunday's big Premier League game.
The Reds are six points clear of the fifth-placed Blues, who sit one place out of the coveted Champions League spots, so it is another key fixture in the context of the campaign.
The corresponding game at Old Trafford ended 0-0 but there has been a change of manager since then, with Thomas Tuchel replacing Frank Lampard and having a positive effect on the Stamford Bridge side, including a Champions League win against Atletico Madrid in midweek.
Juan Mata is definitely unavailable, after missing the Europa League second leg against Real Sociedad. The Spaniard misses out on a return to his former club and is joined on the sidelines by Paul Pogba.
Scott McTominay, Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani remain doubts and Daniel James went off injured in the game on Thursday night, as a 0-0 draw sealed a 4-0 aggregate triumph and a clash with AC Milan in the last 16.
“Juan will unfortunately be out for a couple of weeks, so he missed tonight,” said the boss after the game.
“We hope that they [Scott, Donny and Edinson] can be available for the weekend but I'm not sure. Paul is still out for a few weeks, unfortunately.”
Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly both performed well against La Real, when Harry Maguire was rested, to give Ole a nice selection poser at the heart of the defence, as he could also opt to field three centre-backs in the capital. Bailly made the Europa League Team of the Week for the second time in a row.
“Both of them played really well,” explained the manager.
“We’ve got Eric, Victor and Harry, three very good centre-backs that I can rely on and Axel [Tuanzebe] as well, so I’ve got four to choose from. Axel played in midfield this evening but sometimes it’s the opposition and sometimes it’s the form. I think the two of them will keep on playing, maybe playing together as well.”
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NEWS FROM THE CHELSEA CAMP
Olivier Giroud got the nod ahead of Tammy Abraham against Atletico in Romania and rewarded that show of faith with a spectacular winner. The Blues have a wealth of options in most positions and have been particularly mean in defence since their German coach's appointment.
Brazilian veteran Thiago Silva would appear to be the only doubt for Sunday's encounter, but it remains to be seen exactly how Tuchel will shuffle his pack for what could turn out to be a tactical battle.