Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has provided a update on the squad ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Chelsea at Old Trafford. Manchester United vs Chelsea Live
Harry Maguire and Mason Greenwood will be given every chance to prove fitness after missing the midweek trip to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
However, Jesse Lingard and Eric Bailly are unavailable due to injury and Anthony Martial is still suspended for domestic matches, after his red card against Tottenham.
New striker Edinson Cavani is in contention to make the squad for the first time, after training hard all week, with a possible debut for the ex-PSG star on the cards. Manchester United vs Chelsea Live
In our exclusive interview, when asked by Stewart Gardner if there are any fresh injuries to report, Ole replies:
“No, there is nothing that we’ve struggled with after the game. Of course, there’s tiredness of the travel and little aches and pains but I think everyone should be ready for the weekend.
“We’re still hoping Mason and Harry can be available in the squad. Of course, we have a training session today [Friday], so they’re going to have to go through that. Eric won’t be available. Jesse won’t be available so we’ll manage without them for a few weeks I think
United have returned to their favoured pre-match base of The Lowry Hotel, where they last stayed on the eve of the Manchester derby on March 8.
Solskjaer has allowed the United players to report at Old Trafford separately for home games but that arrangement has ended after a run of four home league games without a win.
United were held to a draw by West Ham and Southampton at the end of last season and have suffered defeats to Crystal Palace and Tottenham this term. Their last victory at Old Trafford was in their Europa League round-of-16 second leg against LASK
Anthony Martial serves the second of his three-match suspension this weekend. Brandon Williams, Marcos Rojo and Facundo Pellistri played for the Under-23s on Friday night against Everton.
Alex Telles is temporarily residing at The Lowry following his move from Porto, so was not accounted for when the United coach arrived.
Confirmed United squad members
David de Gea, Dean Henderson, Nathan Bishop, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Axel Tuanzebe, Luke Shaw, Donny van de Beek, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Fred, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James, Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Odion Ighalo
*Alex Telles was not spotted by photographers but is staying at The Lowry.
CHELSEA TEAM NEWS
Blues boss Frank Lampard appears to only be without the services of young midfielder Billy Gilmour and keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has an injured shoulder.
Edouard Mendy had already been given the nod to continue in goal anyway, and all of the recent acquisitions should be available, including Brazilian centre-back Thiago Silva and former Ajax star Hakim Ziyech.
Lampard has praised Cech’s work, with his ability to speak five languages (Czech, English, German, Spanish, French) important in concluding a host of deals worth around £220m ($290m) this summer.
“It feels like a real strength in the camp that I can speak to Petr regularly. I can speak with Marina and work in a joined-up way in taking the club forward. All of that will come through the owner; it’s his club. It helps a great deal [having technical and performance advisor Cech],” Lampard said in July.
Cech, a goaltender for the semi-professional ice hockey team Guildford Phoenix and a keen drummer in his spare time, remains in his office job primarily, but his inclusion in the squad list could lead to a truly blockbuster moment in the right – or wrong – circumstance.
“We had that space in the squad and we know this year, it looks like no other because of Covid and isolation so it was a very easy one. Pete still does his day job and he is there if we need him,” Lampard added.
It is hoped that Cech will drive up the standard of goalkeeping with his presence amid a run of poor form from the club’s record £72m ($95m) signing Kepa that has seen him dropped several times since Lampard took over as manager.
Kepa’s decline has been so dramatic that there have been question marks over the first-team goalkeeping coach Hilario, the only goalkeeper to register a worse save percentage ratio than the Spain international did last season in 10 or more Premier League games since 2003-04.
Chelsea’s public stance remains that Kepa is being backed by all at the club. The inclusion of Cech however is a bad look for him, but he has got the opportunity to use it as a positive in order to rebuild trust and confidence, both in himself and the wider club.