Manchester United travel to Newcastle on Sunday and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not expect to have Paul Pogba back for the Premier League clash.
In an interview yesterday, Didier Deschamps said the French midfielder has a fresh ankle injury which would keep him out of action for three weeks.
That’s a concern given Pogba has missed four of the last six United games with an ankle injury he suffered at the end of August at Southampton, and he did not travel to the Netherlands this week as United endured a scoreless draw with AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League.
Solskjaer has other injuries to deal with too. Anthony Martial (thigh), Luke Shaw (hamstring) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (illness) are also set to miss the game and Jesse Lingard picked up a hamstring injury against Alkmaar.
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“I don’t know,” Solskjaer said on the possibility of any returning players, as per the Manchester Evening News. “Let’s see on Saturday morning. Probably not [Pogba], there’s an international break as well, it might be time for us to give him 10 or 14 days extra to be ready for Liverpool.”
Newcastle are going through another rough patch under new manager and former United defender Steve Bruce. He’s getting the blunt of it at St. James’ Park but wasn’t that a given when he took the job from Mike Ashley?
Bruce claims ‘Mud has been thrown my way since I walked through the door’, which is true but I would have thought that ‘Mud’ was primarily aimed at Ashley and his decision to get rid of Rafa Benitez.
Newcastle fans don’t feel Bruce was worthy of being considered for the job and he has a lot of work to do to convince them otherwise.
Speaking at his pre-Manchester United press conference, the Newcastle manager said (quotes via Chronicle Live: “Mud has been thrown my way since I walked through the door but I am determined to turn it around.
“That has been my remit since I walked through this door.
“As I say, if you get beat you have to respond and we now have a wonderful opportunity against Man United.
“But there’s no dispute out of the seven or eight games we have played we have (only) been disappointing twice.
“I wish him (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer) the best of luck. He’s got a hard job ahead of him, but he’s been given a wonderful opportunity.
“To come up against them is always a special occasion, a big occasion — and we’ll make sure we’re ready for it.
“We’re going to have to be at our best — a lot better than what we were last week, that’s for sure — and show a response.
“When you get beaten as badly as we did, you know what’s coming. The one thing you have to do is respond and look forward to the next game to erase it.
“When you get beaten in a certain manner, you have a good right to be angry. The most important thing is how you react to it and how you respond to it.”