Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been sweating on the fitness of a prized trio ahead of a crucial Premier league fixture at Vitality Stadium this weekend
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed that Marcus Rashford, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire are all doubts for Manchester United’s trip to Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Red Devils will be aiming to extend their winning run to four matches across all competitions against the Cherries, three days after a thrilling Carabao Cup fourth-round triumph over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Solskjaer’s side had not picked up an away win since March, but victories over Partizan, Norwich and Chelsea over the last 10 days have eased the pressure on the Norwegian boss.
United can move level on points with fifth-placed Arsenal by beating Bournemouth in the weekend’s early kick-off, but they may be without three key performers at the Vitality Stadium.
Solskjaer confirmed at a press conference on Friday that Rashford, Lindelof and Maguire will face late fitness tests: “It’s still early. Hopefully, we can get them back on the pitch tomorrow.
“They had some treatment yesterday, a little more today, a light session and hopefully, they’re ready. I can’t tell you exactly now.”
The United manager went on to give an update on Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic and Axel Tuanzebe’s recovery progress following recent injuries, stating: “They’re not ready for tomorrow, that’s the update.
“Probably after the international break, that’s always the risk if you push them back too early but the two extra weeks after internationals they should be ready.”
Midfield talisman Paul Pogba has been also still sidelined with an ankle issue, which has been set to keep him out of action until December.
Despite facing another selection dilemma, Solskjaer insists the confidence within his squad has been growing with each passing game.
“That’s football, sometimes you get the luck of the dice, the game on Wednesday night was decided by an unbelievable strike by Marcus,” he added. “In Partizan, we defended really well, great last-ditch defending there, and Norwich I think that was a good game.
“The confidence has been getting better, players back from injury helps, all put together. In football, it’s not very far from failure to success or another way round.”
Article continues below
Solskjaer feels a 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Old Trafford on October 20 gave United “more energy”, with a change in tactics leading to a marked improvement in performances.
“The international break came at a great time for us,” he said. “We prepared for the Liverpool game and when you get a decent performance and result against the league leaders it gives you a bit more energy. And from then on the boys were happy with the work we did, maybe the change of system helped and the coaches have done a great job.
“Every game has been a new opportunity to show what you can do, and that’s part of being here. I didn’t play every game, every game I played was a chance to show the manager I should play the next one and, hopefully, these boys feel like that because we are getting players back.”