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Man Utd Team News: Trio Miss Out But van Gaal Confirms Double Injury Boost

Louis van Gaal has given a team news update ahead of Manchester United’s game with Stoke City and confirmed that he could have two midfielders back in the squad

Adnan Januzaj

Manchester United will be looking to extent their unbeaten run when they take on Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on New Year’s Day.

Ahead of the game, Louis van Gaal has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this afternoon and gave a team news and injury update.

The Dutchman has revealed that Ander Herrera is back in training after recovering from a foot injury that’s kept him on the sidelines in recent weeks, although it remains to be seen whether the midfielder will be deemed fit enough to be in contention on Thursday.

Adnan Januzaj is also available again after overcoming the illness that ruled him out of Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur but again van Gaal questioned whether he’s ready to start as the Belgian youngster may still be lacking match sharpness.

The United boss told the clubs website:

“Herrera has trained today for the first time with us and Januzaj has also trained two training sessions with us,”

“They don’t have match rhythm [yet]. Januzaj was ill and you have to recover from your illness, not from your tiredness. Maybe it’s worse to recover from illness.”

van Gaal went on to confirm that no other players will return from injury against Stoke meaning that Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Angel Di Maria will all continue to miss out.

However, Chris Smalling, Rafael and Luke Shaw made their comebacks at White Hart Lane last time out and van Gaal has warned that although they are not yet 100 per cent fit, they will be needed during this busy time.

When asked if any more players were due back, he said:

“No. You have seen that Smalling, Shaw and Rafael Da Silva are coming back.”

“These are the first signs that we already predicted two weeks ago, that the players shall come back but they are not back with 100 per cent match rhythm, and now we have to play.

“It’s a problem for me to come through this two weeks around Christmas and New Year, all these matches. That is difficult now.”

United head to the Britannia on a nine-game unbeaten run that’s seen them climb up to third in the Premier League table, but they will have to get back to winning ways against Stoke after drawing with Spurs if the 20-time champions want to keep alive any slim hopes of challenging for the title this season.

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