Man Utd vs Sheff Utd | Injury updates | Fernandes quotes | Expected XIs | Prediction
Just three days after their victory against Merseyside rivals Liverpool, Man Utd are looking to regain their position at the top of the Premier League table with a win against Sheffield United at Old Trafford tonight, kick off 20:15.
Man Utd have been blessed throughout the season, only having to deal with a small number of injuries within the squad. Of those we already know, Phil Jones remains to be the only player out as Brandon Williams returned to training on Monday.
Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Liverpool saw Marcus Rashford limp off the pitch with a potential knee injury. When asked if he would be available for Man Utd’s next game, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replied:
“Marcus is available, yeah. He trained this morning, so [he’s] available for selection. I think he tweaked his knee, but he’ll be fine. He trained fully this morning. We’re looking strong, which is a good place to be in.”
Eric Bailly was not involved in Sunday’s game, nevertheless, Solskjaer reassured fans that this was simply a precaution and that the Ivorian defender would be available for selection in their next game.
New signing Amad Diallo has yet to be selected for a game since his arrival at the club mid-January. When asked whether Diallo might make an appearance in any upcoming fixtures for Utd, Solskjaer replied:
“He’s just come in and he’s going through a good training regime, training program and he’s doing really well. So, it won’t be too long, I feel, before I can bring him into the squad.”
It may be too soon for a Sheffield Utd debut, however, a feature in the near future for the 18-year-old Ivorian looks very promising.
Ultimately, it looks like the only real dilemma for Solskjaer is going to be the task of having to decide who is going to get a run-out and who will be given the chance to rest ready for Saturday’s encounter with Arsenal.
Fernandes responds to claims
Even after only being subbed on in the 66th minute of the FA Cup fourth-round tie against Liverpool, Fernandes still managed to make his mark on the game with a match-winning free-kick, perfectly taken from just outside the box.
It was clear Fernandes was going to be an important player for Man Utd right from the beginning, winning Man of the Match only two days after he arrived at the club in his debut appearance against Wolves. Nevertheless, it would have been almost impossible to have known just how much of an impact the Portuguese playmaker was going to have. In just under a year, he has grown to be an integral part of Man Utd’s success and an important, beloved figure among the club supporters.
Fernandes’ significance within the team has meant that Solskjaer has rarely been able to give the star player a rest, leading some to question whether the 26-year-old may be tiring. These are claims Fernandes quickly shut down, laughing as he replied:
“Tired? At 26-years-old I can’t be tired. If I’m tired now, when I arrive at 30 or 32, I will not play. I will play one game in five so, no, I’m not tired”.
Having made Premier League history last month after winning the Premier League Player of the Month for the fourth time in a calendar year, it is safe to say Fernandes looks far from tired and is otherwise enjoying a prime moment within his footballing career.
Man Utd Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles, Fred, Matic, Martial, Fernandes, Greenwood, Cavani
It is likely David de Gea will reclaim his place as Man Utd’s Premier League goalie. It is also possible Alex Telles will get an opportunity to start, giving Luke Shaw a well-earned rest after having worked hard in his last few appearances at left-back.
Fred is also set to regain his place in the centre of midfield after being rested for the first 66 minutes of Sunday’s game. Nemanja Matic may also get a start after having been left out of the starting line-up for the past few games. This would give a chance for Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay to get a rest ahead of Saturday’s encounter with Arsenal.
As Fernandes played just under 30 minutes of Sunday’s game, he is set to reassert his presence as Man Utd’s centre-attacking midfielder in the place of Donny van de Beek. Van de Beek may be given the opportunity to come off the bench during the game, although this is likely to be dependent on the score line.
Even though Rashford trained fully on Tuesday, after having been subbed off Sunday with a knee injury, there is a chance Anthony Martial may start in the left-wingers place. Solskjaer will not want to take any risks on ensuring the 23-year-old is fully fit and energised for Saturday’s game. This would result in Mason Greenwood returning to his position on the right-wing after putting in an impressive performance at the weekend, alongside Edinson Cavani through the middle.
Sheffield United XI: Ramsdale; Basham, Egan, Ampadu; Bogle, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; McGoldrick, Sharp
Man Utd’s current form, having gone 13 games in the Premier League without defeat, means that a win tonight would take them back to the top of the table for a third consecutive week. Sheffield Utd on the other hand are struggling to find any form, having only collected 5 points all season, leaving them fighting in the relegation zone.
Therefore, the predicted result for tonight’s game is:
Man Utd 2 – 0 Sheffield Utd
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