Solskjaer explains absences of Lukaku, De Gea against Leeds

Date published: Wednesday 17th July 2019 12:12

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer TEAMtalk

Romelu Lukaku was conspicuous by his absence from Manchester United’s squad facing Leeds in Perth on Wednesday.

Having missed Saturday’s 2-0 win against Perth Glory, the wantaway striker was with the squad in the open section of training on the eve of the game.

But Lukaku was not in the matchday squad amid interest from Inter Milan and nor was goalkeeper David De Gea, who Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had said would play a part against the Yorkshire side.

The goalkeeper fell ill ahead of the match, while Lukaku was ruled out with a knock picked up on Tuesday after the media left.

“David just felt ill today, he just didn’t feel right so we’ll wait for the Inter Milan game with him,” he told MUTV. “And the others are not ready either.”

Solskjaer started Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly in the heart of defence, both of whom are back to full fitness.

“Obviously Eric’s had his operation just before the end of the season and now he’s back, he’s trained all week since we’ve been here.

Optus Stadium Man Utd v Leeds TEAMtalk

“And Victor he was fit, just a little thing. So that’s the only change from the second half (against Perth Glory) more or less, if I can remember the teams,” added Solskjaer.

Juan Mata captained the side and Aaron Wan-Bissaka made his first start for United, while 17-year-old Mason Greenwood started in attack.

Solskjaer confirmed that he would again use two entirely different teams for each half of the game, just as he did against Perth.

“Yeah that’s the way we’re thinking,” he added.

“It’s about accumulating minutes, having intensity when you’re out there. It’s still a block of work that we’re doing and I think it’s only deserved that more or less everyone gets 45 minutes.

“It will be a different game of course, you’re playing against a team in Leeds who are going to give you more tactical things to think about. They’re probably a week or two ahead of us in pre-season and I’ve always enjoyed watching Bielsa’s teams during his careers so it will be a test for us.”

Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa only has 16 players in Australia but he named a strong-looking side at Optus Stadium.

 

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