OLE PROVIDES TEAM NEWS FOR MANCHESTER DERBY
Manchester United must do without Raphael Varane for the derby against City on Saturday, and there are question marks over a couple of others heading into the Premier League clash.
The Frenchman was withdrawn in the first half of the 2-2 draw with Atalanta in the Champions League in midweek, and a hamstring injury will rule him out for around a month.
Fellow center-back Victor Lindelof missed the trip to Italy with a knock sustained in training and the boss admits he is playing a waiting game over selecting the Sweden skipper for a huge encounter at Old Trafford, which kicks off at 12:30 GMT.
We’ve got a couple of players doubtful, unfortunately, but that’s part of the game,” explained Ole to club media’s Zarah Connolly at Carrington. “We’ll just have to give them as much time as possible because all of them are working really hard and they wanted another 24 hours to see if they could be available.”
Speaking at his press conference, the boss elaborated on Varane’s absence, saying: “With all the technology, you expect him to be out for four-five weeks. It’s a blow for us as he’s come in and been really influential, but Eric Bailly came in last time and was exceptional. We have a squad that can cope.”
Ole is optimistic Lindelof will be fit enough to feature as the defender is definitely one of those facing a race against time.
“He’s still a doubt but, hopefully, he can come in tomorrow and say he’s ready,” declared Solskjaer. “I expect him to be ready tomorrow but I can’t confirm.”
Paul Pogba is definitely ruled out through suspension, as he sits out the second of his three-game domestic ban.
CITY’S TEAM NEWS
John Stones is the likeliest deputy for Aymeric Laporte after the Spain international was sent off in the surprise 2-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace, last time out in the Premier League.
Ferran Torres is definitely still sidelined after suffering a metatarsal injury and Kyle Walker received a kick to his foot in the 4-1 triumph over Club Brugge on Wednesday night, so will need to be assessed.
“Right now, I don’t know,” Pep Guardiola replied when asked at his press conference about Walker’s availability. “We have training in a few hours and we will know it. Right now, I don’t know.”
Young striker Liam Delap has an ankle problem.