Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explained he will allow Eric Bailly time to settle back into the team after recovering from injury. The Ivorian performed superbly on Monday night against Chelsea but has been replaced in the starting line-up by Victor Lindelof.
The manager’s loyalty to Lindelof continues in what was the only selection that was difficult to predict. It’s still a bit harsh on Bailly because the Swede hasn’t been very good this season, though we know he is capable of better.
It’s clear which United players are under pressure to perform today against Watford. Lindelof — given Bailly’s return; Nemanja Matic — with Scott McTominay back on the bench; and Luke Shaw — with Brandon Williams waiting in the wings.
Solskjaer revealed his reasons for the team selection on MUTV prior to kick-off and said Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard were simply not in his thinking for the game, therefore, are not part of the squad. This comes as little surprise given they have both been dreadful this season.
“Well we picked a squad of 18 that we felt was the right 18 here,” Solskjaer said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
“We have got cover on the bench; wide men, forwards, midfielders, and defenders. That was the decision I made.”
He also praised McTominay for doing everything he can to get back fit after the Scotland international was named on the bench.