Solskjaer confident of ‘strong’ Man Utd team as worrying Varane update tops injury bill

Date published: Friday 15th October 2021 2:35 - Jonny Whitfield

Man Utd centre-back Raphael Varane during a Premier League match 2021

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels confident of fielding a “strong” team against Leicester amid his side’s key injury worry with Raphael Varane.

The Red Devils face the Foxes on Saturday ahead of what will prove a tough run until the end of November. Still, Solskjaer will have to do without some of his key players for a portion of the period.

Indeed, Raphael Varane picked up an injury while on France duty during the international break.

Fellow centre-back and captain Harry Maguire suffered a calf strain last month. Although, he could yet play against his former club.

Meanwhile, Fred and Edinson Cavani played late on Thursday in Brazil – 1.30am on Friday in the UK – and so will not make the immediate return.

Asked about the situation in Friday’s pre-match press conference, Solskjaer insisted that he can field a strong team at the King Power Stadium.

“International breaks are sometimes a time to cross your fingers and hope for the best. As we see with Raphael, he’s got an injury and is out for a few weeks,” the manager said.

“But then again, Victor [Lindelof] and Eric [Bailly] played in the internationals and got game time, which was good for us.

“With regards to Fred and Edinson, they played a full game, we’re not counting on them.

“Harry’s just joined us on the grass this morning, so that was the first time he’s been on the grass. Amad [Diallo], first time on the grass today as well, so we look quite strong.”

Marcus Rashford is also in the matchday squad after recovering from shoulder surgery. He has yet to play this season following his operation.

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“If he’s going to start or not, I can’t tell you that now because it wouldn’t be right,” Solskjaer said of the England forward.

“But he’s worked really hard, throughout the whole lay-off and he’s been bright this week. He had a 60-minute involvement behind closed doors, so he’s fit and raring to go.”

Solskjaer ready for Leicester test

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd

Leicester, who have finished fifth two seasons in a row, currently sit 13th in the Premier League table. They have only won two of their seven games so far.

However, Solskjaer insisted he is not underestimating Brendan Rodgers’ team.

“It’s early doors in the season and sometimes you don’t really see the real picture,” he said. “They’re in the Europa League as well, so they’ve got loads of games.

“I’ve got the utmost respect every time we play against Leicester because they’ve signed well again, spent money on good players that will gel into the team.

“Sometimes it takes time for them to gel, we’ve seen some very good football they’ve played and, like most of us, conceded goals they shouldn’t.

“But as every time we go down there it’s going to be a difficult game.”

United lost to Leicester twice last season – once in the FA Cup quarter-finals – drawing the other game.

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