Man Utd Team News: van Gaal Confirms Triple Injury Boost + Di Maria Update
Louis van Gaal has confirmed that Wayne Rooney is back in contention for Manchester United’s clash with Southampton but Angel Di Maria misses out.
Manchester United will be looking to continue their excellent recent run when they take on Southampton at St Mary’s on Monday night.
Ahead of the game, Louis van Gaal has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this afternoon and gave ManUtd.com a team news and injury update.
The Dutchman confirmed that Wayne Rooney is back in contention after recovering from a knee injury that saw him miss Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Stoke City.
Rooney sat out the victory at Old Trafford after colliding with the advertising hoardings during the closing stages of last weekend’s 3-0 win over Hull City, but the damage was minor and he’s expected to come straight back in to the side on Monday.
van Gaal told reporters when asked for an update on Rooney’s condition:
‘The news is very good, he [Rooney] shall play.’
The skippers return is expected to see James Wilson drop out after he started up front last time out, although it will be interesting to see how van Gaal sets-up in attack as Radamel Falcao is also pushing for a start after two substitute appearances following a calf injury.
While Rooney’s return is a big boost, there isn’t such good news on Angel Di Maria as the winger is set to miss the trip to the South Coast with a hamstring strain that he suffered against Hull last Saturday. However, van Gaal is confident the Argentinean international’s absence won’t be a long one so he could be back in contention against Liverpool next weekend.
The United boss also had some positive news on Jonny Evans with the defender now available again having recovered from an ankle injury that’s kept him on the sidelines for over 11 weeks. Phil Jones is also back in full training but may turn out for the reserves before he’s considered for first team duty. van Gaal continued:
“It’s not a bad injury [Di Maria], but I am not a doctor. I have to say it like a manager, not like a doctor. But I think he shall recover very quickly.”
“Evans is coming back. He is fit to play. Jones is coming back but not fit to play. He needs training sessions and maybe also matches in the second team. But he is coming back. He is fit to train. That is also very good. We are seeing already light in the tunnel.”
Evans’ return is a welcome one as United have been severely stretched at the back at times this season due to a spate of injuries. However, those problems are slowly subsiding and Evans could now line-up alongside Chris Smalling in the middle of defence with Marcos Rojo potentially moving to left-back to cover for the injured Luke Shaw.
United head to St Mary’s off the back of four consecutive victories which have seen the former champions climb into the top four and they can leapfrog the Saints into third with another victory on Monday night.
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