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Manchester United hope Paul Pogba will be available for Istanbul Basaksehir clash

Manchester United are hopeful Paul Pogba will be available for their Champions League group stage game at home to Istanbul Basaksehir.

Pogba missed the game over the weekend with an ankle issue, although we are not sure whether he picked that up against Sweden on international or whilst training with United after the November break.

He trained with the first-team on Monday morning ahead of their upcoming European clash.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested Luke Shaw could be out for over a month with a hamstring injury but at least Alex Telles is fit and ready to step in after overcoming the coronavirus.

Jesse Lingard is in self-isolation after he came into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, so he definitely won’t be involved in any capacity — not that he has really featured in the squad this season…

“We hope he’s going to be available,” Solskjaer said on Pogba (via Manchester Evening News). “He trained this morning, see if there’s any reaction when we report tomorrow. Luke Shaw is out, Phil Jones is out, Jesse is still self-isolating after being in contact with a positive case. And there are one or two little things we need to look at in the morning but hopefully everyone else is available.

“I hope nearer to four (weeks out for Shaw) but with a recurrence of hamstring injuries you can’t risk anything and he’s still not training with us, we’ll see how he reacts to the programme he’s on and to the rehab work. Hopefully near four but probably nearer five or six.”

The good news for Solskjaer is that he came make up to five substitutions in the Champions League, so there is an opportunity to give more players a rest tomorrow night with United’s objective still very much to win the game.

Solskjaer added: “Five subs is definitely not a relief but it gives you the chance to rest players earlier because if you want to make two subs at half-time you’ve still got a chance to make subs and rest players, because it’s going to be a long. Long season. And it’s not just about this game but a while accumulation of football.

“So I like the five subs, I also like the size of the squads because the players feel involved, especially during lockdown. Sometimes if you’re told you’re not in the squad you’ve got to stay at home and you can’t go and see your friend or see the game with a friend. That’s another mental welfare that we have to look after with the players, so Champions League, I like it.

“Bruno is not going to be able to play every single game, that’s for sure. So when he only played one-and-a-half games with Portugal during the international break I was very happy.”

Read more: Solskjaer demands more concentration from United players against Istanbul Basaksehir

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