Ole Gunnar Solskjaer waits until the last minute to name his Manchester derby team in the Carabao Cup semi-final … to give his long list of injured stars the best chance of being fit against Manchester City
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer waits until Tuesday to judge his injured players
- Manchester United faces its city rivals in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg
- Harry Maguire and Anthony Martial face a race against time to be fit
- The meeting with Old Trafford is United’s sixth game in just 16 days
Manchester United will prove to their players suffering from injuries and illness their fitness for as long as possible for the Carabao Cup derby against Manchester City.
Harry Maguire staggered from Molineux after Saturday’s FA Cup game with Wolves, and Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw all missed the game with a bug.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was unable to offer a detailed update of the players during his press conference before the game, but said he would give them time to recover as long as possible.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will let his star players rest in the Carabao Cup
UNITED’S INJURY LIST
Anthony Martial (illness)
Jesse Lingard (illness)
Luke Shaw (illness)
“It’s a bit early (with Maguire), we’re going to give them all as much time as we can, that’s the most correct and honest answer I can give,” he said.
“Some are still not ready. If the game was today, I am not sure if they could perform at their best, but there is 36 hours left until I call the team. I can’t give you the team right now, we’ll keep it until tomorrow. “
It will be United’s sixth game in 16 days, but Solskjaer, a veteran of the Treble success in 1999, believes his players will have no problem taking on the challenge against City.
“Great games give you energy,” he added. “They give you the urge to go to the next level, above and beyond what you could do in your head. Sometimes you surprise yourself.
Harry Maguire staggered out of the field after the Manchester United FA Cup match at Wolves
“There is no way to train in between, it is about mental preparation, proper treatment with the physio’s and staff and hopefully remember what we did last time and what we should do better.”
United defeated City 2-1 in the competition during Etihad last month and Solskjaer is looking for the same of his players again when faced with the back-to-back Carbao Cup winners.
“We will focus on such performances,” he said. “We had two good days against Tottenham and City in a short period, but each game lives its own life. If you get such highlights, I’m sure they’ll look back on that and that’s the Man United we want to see, but we can improve it.
“You always want to win trophies and we are so close now. It is a local derby in a semi-final and hopefully it will be two good matches and two good days in Manchester.
Marcus Rashford and David de Gea celebrate Manchester United’s derby victory last month
“There are two games, so we need to know when this game is halfway. We still have to go to Etihad and finish the job if we do well tomorrow. It is a draw in two games, but only focus on this because it takes three weeks to the next.
‘City wins games again, but form goes out the window when we play each other in a local derby – adrenaline, atmosphere and on a certain day a game can change in a moment due to the decision of a referee, luck, an injury or a red card , but we know they are a top team.
“I admire Pep’s team. They have set the bar so high and the standards they have set are something to strive for.