Lingard banned for Anfield trip, Schweinsteiger getting closer

Date published: Wednesday 9th March 2016 11:09

Jesse Lingard will miss the first leg of Manchester United’s Europa League last-16 clash with Liverpool through suspension.

The winger was booked in both legs of the previous round against FC Midtjylland, and Adnan Januzaj is cup-tied for the trip to Anfield, where Antonio Valencia is set to be involved in the squad after a foot injury.

Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Will Keane and Luke Shaw remain absent, while Bastian Schweinsteiger and Phil Jones are stepping up their returns to fitness. Tim Fosu-Mensah is also ineligible.

Louis van Gaal says Valencia could make the bench but Schweinsteiger is still some way off a return to action.

“Valencia and Schweinsteiger are coming back,” he said. “I think a lot of players shall come back in the month of March. But when they come back, it is not so easy to decide if they can cope with the rhythm of a match because they are fit to train with us.

“For example, Schweinsteiger has only had one training session with us behind his back. Valencia has a week so he is much closer to being on the bench, for example, but not to play a match as that’s different.

“I don’t think [any new players will be available] but Valencia is fit enough to be on the bench, but to play 90 minutes, I don’t think so.

“I shall always make my line-up in my eyes as the strongest line-up to play against the opponent. Nevertheless, I put youngsters sometimes in the line-up but then I think it’s the best solution. I also have to cope with the busy schedule so sometimes I spare and rotate players because of that.”

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