The Red Devils boss has already seen Paul Pogba ruled out of his plans for the foreseeable future, but an Ivorian defender is edging back to fitness
Manchester United look set to be without Eric Bailly for their FA Cup fifth-round clash with West Ham on Tuesday, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expecting the Ivorian defender to join Paul Pogba on a list of absentees.
The Red Devils have seen their World Cup-winning midfielder ruled out of their plans for “a few weeks”, with the in-form performer suffering the most untimely of setbacks.
There is better news on Bailly, who is edging his way back to full fitness after sitting out five games, but a knockout meeting with the Hammers may come too soon for the 26-year-old centre-half.
What has been said?
“Yeah, he’s getting better,” Solskjaer has told United’s official website on Bailly.
“He’s still not available for the cup game, we think. He’s been out on the grass and training, but we’re just going to make a decision. I don’t think he’ll be involved.”
The Norwegian has said on Pogba: “Well, it was an injury. It’ll take a few weeks for it to heal, so he’s just started his recovery, working with the medical staff and we’ll get him back as soon as we can, as safely as we can, because of course Paul’s been very important for us.
“We’re not going to take any risks, but a few weeks definitely.”
Solskjaer went on to say in a general fitness update: “There are so many games! But, yeah, everyone’s available; everyone’s trained, apart from Phil [Jones], obviously.”
What will be Man Utd’s team vs West Ham?
It is expected that Dean Henderson, who has started every domestic cup game for United this season, will replace David de Gea in goal.
With Pogba out injured, Solskjaer has a decision to make over who comes in to start in midfield. Fred replaced Pogba against Everton, while Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek will also be pushing for starts.
Anthony Martial could replace one of Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford or Mason Greenwood in the attacking positions, while left-back Alex Telles will be hoping for a start.
The bigger picture
Bailly has endured injury issues throughout his time at Old Trafford, but had appeared to put those behind him after earning favour again under Solskjaer.
He has taken in 13 appearances this season but, after sitting out five games on the back of being involved in a minor car accident, now faces a battle again to win a starting berth alongside Harry Maguire back from Sweden international Victor Lindelof.
Jones, meanwhile, has not figured for the Red Devils in over 12 months, with the versatile 28-year-old enduring his own fitness nightmare to see serious questions asked of his future.
Pogba has become the latest addition to the treatment room at United, with the Frenchman nursing a thigh complaint that will see him sit out crucial fixtures in Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League competition – with the Red Devils looking to bring a four-year wait for major silverware to a close in 2021.
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