Sunday 26 January 2020

Pogba's still out as woes increase

Paul Pogba. Photo: Getty Images
Paul Pogba. Photo: Getty Images

Manchester United are sweating on the fitness of Marcus Rashford, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire ahead of this weekend's trip to Bournemouth.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have rallied manfully after a poor run, with the draw against table-topping Liverpool followed by three successive wins on the road in all competitions.

Rashford's stunning free-kick secured Wednesday's 2-1 League Cup triumph at Chelsea, but the in-form forward has to be assessed ahead of the trip to Bournemouth after coming off with a knee complaint.

Lindelof was also replaced with a knock in the second half and Maguire looked in discomfort despite completing the last-16 clash at Stamford Bridge.

"It's still early," United manager Solskjaer said of the trio. "Hopefully we can get them back on the pitch tomorrow.

"They had some treatment yesterday, a little more treatment today, a light session and hopefully they're ready. I can't tell you exactly now."

United could be without as many as nine first-team players at the Vitality Stadium. Eric Bailly is a long-term absentee, Diogo Dalot has missed recent matches and Paul Pogba remains sidelined with an ongoing ankle injury.

Solskjaer does not expect the World Cup-winning midfielder back until after the international break - the same timescale facing Axel Tuanzebe, Nemanja Matic and Luke Shaw.

"They're not ready for tomorrow, that's the update," the United boss said. "Probably after the international break.

"That is always the risk if you push them back too early, but if we have the two extra weeks after the international break, they should all be ready for then."

United head to the south coast for today's lunchtime's encounter buoyed by wins on the road at Partizan Belgrade, Norwich and Chelsea - an impressive reaction to their 11-match winless away run.

"That's football - sometimes you get luck of the dice," Solskjaer said. "Sometimes you don't. The game on Wednesday night was decided by an unbelievable strike by Marcus.

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