Man Utd Team News: van Gaal Confirms Triple Injury Boost Ahead Of Watford

By on March 1, 2016

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Manchester United will be looking to continue their recent good form when they host Watford at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

Ahead of the game, Louis van Gaal has been speaking at his pre-match press conference this afternoon and he’s given reporters a team news and injury update.

The United boss was pleased to confirm a major triple injury boost with Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling and Matteo Darmian all in line to make their comebacks tomorrow night.

Smalling has missed the last two games after suffering a shoulder injury while colliding with an advertising hoarding during United’s FA Cup win over Shrewsbury Town last week and a late decision will be made over his availability against Watford.

Martial has also been on the sidelines for the past two matches after suffering a hamstring injury in the warm-up prior to the second leg of their Europa League clash with Midtjylland last Thursday, however, van Gaal says the striker is now available for selection.

In a triple boost, Darmian could also be set for a swift return to action after the Italian full-back recovered from a shoulder injury quicker than expected while van Gaal also hinted that Marcos Rojo could feature against Watford despite being forced off during Sunday’s win over Arsenal with a foot injury.

The United boss also confirmed that Marouane Fellaini and Antonio Valencia are closing in on making their comebacks following hamstring and foot injuries but Wayne Rooney is still in a brace as he continues to recover from a knee injury.

Here is what van Gaal told ManUtd.com:

“I think Martial can play, Darmian can play and maybe Smalling – we’ll wait and see for tomorrow.”

“Players are coming back. It is positive.

“We have to build players up. You have seen how I did it with Marcos Rojo – 20 minutes and, the second time, 60 minutes, though he did not reach that. So it’s not so easy. Playing in the second team is also a possibility.

“It was a kick [for Rojo]. A lot of players receive kicks and they can play the next match.”

“[Marouane] Fellaini and [Antonio] Valencia are the first ones to come back, I think. Except, of course, Martial and Smalling and Darmian – they are coming back, maybe already tomorrow. It depends how they feel tomorrow, but the chance is there that one of these three players already plays.

“Fellaini shall come into the last step of the process of team training, and also Valencia today has trained with the group, so they are coming back. Wayne Rooney is still in a brace.”

Michael Carrick has been filling in at centre-back alongside Daley Blind in recent games so it will be a huge boost if Smalling is passed fit to return tomorrow night as he’s been United’s best defender so far this season.

It will be interesting to see if van Gaal decides to give Martial an instant recall as his replacement Marcus Rashford has taken his chance with both hands having scored four goals in just two games.

United head in to the midweek action looking to secure their fourth consecutive wins in all competitions and a win would see them close the gap further on the top four.

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One Comment

  1. Julius ahante

    March 1, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    How about Paddy McNair? I suggest LVG give him opportunity instead of playing 2 natural midfielders (Carrick & Blind)

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