Man Utd Team News: van Gaal Confirms Double Injury Boost Ahead Of Liverpool Game
Louis van Gaal has confirmed a double injury boost ahead of Manchester United’s trip to Liverpool in their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday night.
Manchester United take on fierce Premier League rivals Liverpool at Anfield on Thursday night in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.
Ahead of the game, Louis van Gaal has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this morning and he’s given ManUtd.com a team news and injury update.
The Dutch boss was pleased to confirm a double injury boost with the news that Antonio Valencia and Bastian Schweinsteiger have both returned to full training after recovering from recent injuries.
Valencia has been on the sidelines since suffering a broken foot during United’s clash with Manchester City way back in late October 2015 and has been slowly working his way back to fitness following surgery.
The Ecuadorian international returned to training earlier this month and van Gaal says that the versatile midfielder is now ready to make his return to the squad, although he’s only fit enough for a place on the bench against Liverpool.
Schweinsteiger has also resumed full training this week after finally recovering from a knee injury which he sustained during United’s FA Cup victory over Sheffield United in mid-January.
However, the German international has so far only got one full session under his belt so the United boss suggests tomorrow night’s game may come too soon for the midfielder.
van Gaal told the clubs website:
“Antonio Valencia and Bastian Schweinsteiger are coming back,”
“I think a lot of players shall come back in the month of March. But when they come back, it is not so easy to decide if they can cope with the rhythm of a match because they are fit to train with us. For example, Schweinsteiger has only had one training session with us behind his back. Valencia has a week [behind him] so he is much closer to being on the bench, for example, but not to play a match as that’s different.
“I don’t think [any new players will be available] but Valencia is fit enough to be on the bench, but to play 90 minutes, I don’t think so.
“I shall always make my line-up in my eyes as the strongest line-up to play against the opponent. Nevertheless, I put youngsters sometimes in the line-up but then I think it’s the best solution. I also have to cope with the busy schedule so sometimes I spare and rotate players because of that.”
It will be a big boost to van Gaal to have Valencia and Schweinsteiger available again as the Dutchman has had to endure a crippling injury list this season with Wayne Rooney, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Phil Jones and Will Keane all still on the sidelines.
Juan Mata will however be available to face Liverpool tomorrow as his domestic ban will be served against West Ham at the weekend, but Jesse Lingard is suspended for the trip to Anfield.
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