Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that two of his summer signings will not be available for Manchester United against Real Sociedad as their injury list grows.
United are travelling to Italy to face Spanish side Real Sociedad in the away leg of their Europa League Round of 32 tie on Thursday.
After coming third in their Champions League group, Solskjaer’s side will be striving for success in the secondary competition, which they reached the semi-finals of last season.
Real Sociedad will provide an intriguing first test, though. And Solskjaer has confirmed that he could be without several key players.
Paul Pogba was already injured and will not feature again this month, while Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani will also be staying at home.
Additionally, Solskjaer has two more doubts.
“Paul he is recovering well, starting treatment,” the manager explained. “Still a few weeks, so he won’t be playing in February that’s for sure.
“Apart from that a couple of doubts, Anthony [Martial] and Scott [McTominay], so we will have to check them tomorrow. Donny and Edinson definitely not travelling.
“Donny and Edinson are injured – muscle injuries.”
Even without the absences, Solskjaer admitted that they could not have got a much tougher draw than the one they have.
“You’ve got to be very, very good against them,” he said. “Probably the hardest team we could get at this stage. Still in the hunt for Champions League.
“We have to play at a high level to get a result.”
United have struggled to get results against Spanish sides in recent years. However, Solskjaer does not believe that theme will hamper them in this clash.
“It’s probably down to the level of teams we’ve played,” he explained. “Spanish teams are good – we haven’t played well enough.
“We don’t go into games worrying.”
Solskjaer explains recent Mata absence
One player who may be hoping to make an impression is Spaniard Juan Mata, who has not featured much this season.
The 32-year-old has not played since December, and his last start came one month earlier.
Solskjaer maintains Mata could play a role on Thursday, though, after explaining his lack of recent involvement.
“He has been away for a little while,” Solskjaer confirmed.
“Against West Brom you wonder what he might have done. He is travelling with us.
“If we see him on the pitch I’m sure he’ll want to prove to Spanish fans what a player he is.”