Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says defender Luke Shaw will miss Sunday's Emirates FA Cup semi-final clash with Chelsea.
The left-back was injured against his former club Southampton on Monday, and both he and his replacement at Old Trafford that night, Brandon Williams, were subsequently ruled out of the win at Crystal Palace on Thursday.
However, the boss hopes homegrown product Williams will have recovered from the facial injury he suffered against the Saints in time to be in consideration this weekend. Tim Fosu Mensah filled in capably at Selhurst Park, and already has experience of playing in a last four tie in the competition, against Everton in 2016.
“Luke will be out,” the boss told us. “I can't see him recovering. Brandon will hopefully be okay, he'll try to join in training today with his eye. We'll see if he can see the ball when he comes in! He should be fine .”
Ole must decide whether his players can keep going after a hectic schedule, against a side that has had 48 hours' more rest and recovery time, or if he needs to introduce some fresh legs into his XI .
“We’ve not seen a lot of them [the players] because we’re just coming up to a training session now,” he added. “But I’d rather have this game than not have it. We can’t say it [the scheduling] has been unkind, it is what it is and, when you get the opportunity to play a semi -final, you’ll squeeze that in even if you have to play on the same day. ”
Sergio Romero has been preferred for FA Cup games this term, while Odion Ighalo has shown his worth in attack in previous rounds.
For the win against Norwich City in the quarter -finals, Ole Gunnar suggested he had it in his mind to select a similar team to the one on duty at Derby County in early March, perhaps hinting at a trend with his selection for this competition.
Jesse Lingard came off the bench at Palace and, particularly considering his record at Wembley, he could come into the frame for a starting spot.
“The team is not selected yet and that goes both for Jesse and Sergio,” insisted the manager later, in his press conference. “They've got a good chance of being involved, so we'll make a decision on that later on .”
Boss Frank Lampard Over Tomorrow Match
Blues boss Frank Lampard has ruled N'Golo Kante out of the Wembley encounter, with youngster Billy Gilmour also still missing.
Like Ole, Lampard has some key decisions to make over his selection with a crucial Premier League fixture taking place at Anfield on Wednesday, when Liverpool will receive the trophy.
Manchester United Football Club Ready To Complete Jadon Sancho Deal
Manchester United are reportedly closing in on Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and more transfer gossip.
Manchester United Football Club are currently enjoying a 19-game unbeaten streak after a marked improvement since the restart and Manchester United Football Club Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to build on his side's potential this summer by reinforcing his attacking options, with the hope of turning them into premier league title contenders.
The Norwegian would ideally like to add a centre midfielder, playmaker and winger to his squad, with Borussia Dortmund's Sancho the top target.
Manchester Evening News Sport understands that United are long-term admirers of the 20-year-old and their desire to sign him has only been increased after he had another excellent season in Germany, contributing a massive 20 goals and 20 assists in 38 games.
Dortmund have remained adamant that they won't lower their asking price for Sancho in a post Corona virus world which, despite United's admiration, has threatened to scupper any potential deal.
The report also states that Jesse Lingard could leave the club this summer after struggling for minutes this season with both Inter and AC Milan said to be interested.
Can't Be Serious
Leicester and Newcastle have joined the queue of clubs interested in signing Norwich star Todd Cantwell this summer.
The 22-year-old midfielder has been a rare positive from a dismal season for the relegated Canaries.
And according to Mail Online, two more clubs have have joined the chase.
Manchester United, Tottenham, Liverpool and German giants Bayern Munich are all monitoring the England U21 man.
Amid calls to rest Mason Greenwood, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has credited the youngster with his stunning form with adding a bit of muscle and staying focused.
The manager told today's press conference: “He's coped really well with the demands on him. Of course, throughout the season we've managed him as well as we could.
"He's come back after the lockdown flying, his sharpness is there, his fitness, he's gained a few kilos as we all see and he's gained a lot of experience and confidence in his own abilities.
"So, there's only two games left of the league, hopefully two in the FA Cup and three or four in the Europa League. He'll be fine, there's no chance he'll burn out. He's been excellent."
To Be Frank
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at Frank Lampard's worries that Manchester United might be given a favourable VAR call tomorrow evening.
The boss said: "If you look at the factual decisions - I don't want to sound like a certain manager talking about facts - but if you're offside you're offside, that's clear.
"Talking about lucky; the penalty we got against Tottenham in the last minute that was taken away from us; that might be two points for us.
"Talking about the red card [Oriol] Romeu should have had against us when he almost got Mason Greenwood crippled, that should've been a red card, maybe that would've helped us."
He added: "There's a narrative there but we have to focus on our games, we let other people talk about that. I don't wanna go too much into it because I might be in trouble! I hope I'm not now!
"I'm pretty relaxed on these and refs are gonna be making objective decisions and are not gonna be influenced by any emotion in any way, so I don't think they'll read [what Lampard said]."
Louis Saha believes Anthony Martial is in the “form of his life”.
The forward is revelling in the central striker role handed to him by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
And former United striker Saha told the club website: “It’s fair to say Anthony is in the form of his life, for me.
”He’s definitely a player that excites me as a fan and an ex-player. I have been in that position where Anthony is, in that No 9 shirt, and I understand the pressure behind it.
"But I like his reaction; his desire to hurt defenders in many ways.
"He has the quality as well to score 25-plus goals and, when you see the goals he’s scoring, not everybody can do that.”
On The Spot
Frank Lampard has warned his Chelsea players not to give Manchester United any shout at a penalty on Sunday.
The Red Devils have won 13 spot kicks this season, the most of any top flight side.
And the Blues boss wants his side to be extra wary of their tricky feet.
He told reporters: “They have to be [more cautious].
“Because when players of such high level, quality and speed of the Manchester United forwards travel quickly you have to move your feet and not dive in on them.
“You need to understand the qualities of the opposition, with players like that. Fernandez is very clever in his movement. We saw that at Aston Villa to make something feel like a penalty where maybe it even isn’t.
“As a player we can talk about VAR decisions and whether they’re right or wrong.
“But if a player is going to dangle a leg and not move their feet then you obviously do leave yourself open to penalties, VAR or no VAR.”
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