Sources: United defensive problems mounting

Manchester United are sweating on the fitness of first-choice centre-back pair Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof ahead of West Brom‘s visit to Old Trafford on Saturday, sources have told ESPN.

Maguire was able to complete 90 minutes for England against Iceland on Wednesday but afterwards reported bruising to his foot and will be assessed when he returns to Carrington on Thursday.

Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
ESPN+ viewer’s guide: Bundesliga, Serie A, MLS, FA Cup and more

Meanwhile, club medical staff are growing increasingly concerned about Lindelof’s back injury.

The 26-year-old has been playing with the issue for much of the season and the problem flared up again during the 3-1 win at Everton before the international break.

Lindelof managed 90 minutes for Sweden in their 2-1 win over Croatia on Saturday but was forced off during the second half of the 4-2 defeat to France on Tuesday.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is already having to carefully manage Lindelof’s workload to navigate a packed schedule that will only get more hectic through December and January.

Lindelof was left on the bench for the 2-1 defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir despite an injury forcing off Axel Tuanzebe at half-time. Midfielder Scott McTominay filled in at centre-back instead.

United have Tuanzebe available to fill in and Eric Bailly is nearing a return after missing more than a month with a muscle problem. The Ivory Coast international hasn’t featured since the 6-1 defeat to Tottenham on Oct. 4.

United are hopeful of having left-back Alex Telles available to face West Brom after returning a negative test for the coronavirus while on international duty with Brazil.

The 27-year-old, who has already spent a period in isolation after contracting COVID-19, will have to return a second negative before being cleared to play but United are confident he will be able to deputise for Luke Shaw, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Shaw could be out for another month but is targeting a return to action in time for the first Manchester derby of the season against City at Old Trafford on Dec. 12.

Should Telles feature against West Brom, it would be his Premier League debut following his summer move from Porto.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar