Just a day before their clash with Premier League leader Chelsea, Manchester United suffers a setback as several of its key defenders are ruled out for the Saturday game.
According to team manager Louis van Gaal, Michael Carrick, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Phil Jones are all out of the line-up for the match after suffering injuries. The manager revealed that all of the player injuries happened during last week’s Manchester derby, where the team beat rival Manchester City 4-2.
“Blind played on because he always wants to, but the tackle from [Vincent] Kompany was the reason,” van Gaal said of one of his midfielders. “Jones injured himself in the second half. Rojo, he was complaining [of a knock] after the match, and Carrick was also off. We had a big hope that Blind and Jones could reach this game but they can’t.”
The manager added that he was already expecting the influx of injuries during the match. “Only Rojo is a little bit surprising because he felt that the day after the match so it’s because of the distance between the matches.”
Due to the large number of injured players, van Gaal now has to make major adjustments to the squad composition for the upcoming match. Young defenders Tyler Blackett and Paddy Mcnair are expected to be picked as replacements for Jones and Rojo to assist Chris Smalling on central defense.
However, with both Blind and Carrick out of the match, van Gaal ends up short of midfielders. When asked about Luke Shaw starting in for Blind, van Gaal was a bit apprehensive. “Maybe. You shall see on Saturday. You never know,” he said. “Luke is fit enough, I think. I think he is fit enough. But OK, he’s gone already for more than four to five weeks with no match and I don’t like that. But OK, we train but I think he is fit enough.”
The Red Devils’ head also said that he might have to get forward Wayne Rooney to do midfielder duties. “I don’t have another option or I have to play Wayne Rooney again in that position,”