Man Utd squad for Man City derby has two noticeable absentees in possible Solskjaer issue
Manchester United players arrived at The Lowry Hotel last night ahead of today’s derby against rivals Manchester City, but there was no sign of either Harry Maguire or Daniel James. United are in good form of late having gone nine games unbeaten in all competitions.
Their most recent being a comfortable 3-0 win over Championship side Derby in the FA Cup as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a few changes to rest some of his more senior players.
Noticeably on Thursday night there was no Maguire, James or Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the matchday squad.
Solskjaer admitted before the game against Derby that Maguire was meant to be included in the match, but the central defender picked up a knock in training.
James meanwhile similarly picked up a knock ahead of the cup match while Wan-Bissaka was carrying a back problem.
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But there has been some good news for United fans with Wan-Bissaka spotted arriving at the Lowry Hotel last night along with the provisional squad expected to face City.
The 22-year-old has been an ever-present in the United side this season since signing from Crystal Palace last summer, missing just three league games.
There was no sign of either James or Maguire at The Lowry though, raising doubts on whether the duo could be fit enough to feature against their arch rivals.
It doesn’t mean either player will definitely be ruled out for the match though.
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United players in the past have refrained from travelling to the team hotel before home matches in the past, only to be included in the match day squad.
Only last week, Anthony Martial didn’t stay the night before the game against Everton, but he arrived at the hotel in the morning of the match.
Maguire has played in every minute of the Premier League this season to date but his absence could mean Solskjaer goes with Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof as the centre-back pairing.
For United though they’re aiming for bragging rights against their rivals while also taking their fight to Chelsea in the race for a top-four finish.
The Red Devils can move into fourth on goal difference with a win over City depending on how Chelsea get on against Everton earlier in the day.
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But Solskjaer insists his players aren’t letting their focus shift on anything apart from what they can control.
“We’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves,” Solskjaer said. “Keep improving and keep getting results.
“But I know it’s going to be tight. Wolverhampton, they’re definitely putting up a challenge as well. There’s loads of teams that want to get this top four. We’re one of them.
“We’ve just got to be able to handle and manage a squad well enough, rotate well enough.
“These next few games are important. If you can get six points against City and Tottenham now we’ve given ourselves a good chance.”
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