Manchester United will look to bounce back from their Champions League defeat to Barcelona in midweek when they take on West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday evening, but a horrendous run of injuries has Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mulling over his options for the clash.
The Red Devils certainly weren’t disgraced against Barcelona on Wednesday night, but they have left themselves with plenty to do in the Nou Camp on Tuesday, and that could have a bearing on the Norwegian’s team selection against the Hammers.
United had been on a fine run under Solskjaer’s stewardship, but things have just started to tail off a little in recent times, although a seemingly mounting list of absentees certainly isn’t helping the former Cardiff City manager.
He is without another two players against West Ham on Saturday, with Red Devils defensive pair Ashley Young and Luke Shaw both suspended for the game, one for a sending off against Wolves last time out, and the latter for accumulating 10 bookings.
Solskjaer gave an update on his options, with the Manchester United boss unsure of who he will call upon to play in the full-back roles against Manuel Pellegrini’s charges.
“We don’t have full-backs this week,” their official website quotes him as saying.
“Not too many as we’ve lost Luke and Ashley through suspension. Antonio [Valencia] is still not fit. Maybe Matteo [Darmian] will be available for the bench and [Marcos] Rojo has been training for a while.
”He’s available and we’ve got Jonah [Phil Jones], who could also play there. Rojo needed to get out on the big pitch [in the Under-23s, against West Brom last Friday] so he could have that game but we’ve had a couple of practice matches so let’s see what we decide.“
The United boss had hoped that Nemanja Matic and Alexis Sanchez would be fit to face West Ham, but that does not appear to be the case either, as the Norwegian explained.
“We’re getting better and better but, of course, Nemanja fell ill,” he said.
“I’m not sure he’s going to be ready. Alexis is getting close but I’m not sure he’ll be ready yet.”
With the injuries, suspensions and a trip to Barcelona in midweek, it could be a very young and patched up Red Devils side which takes to the field on Saturday evening.