Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted that Manchester United’s centre back pairing Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof could sit out the game with Leeds United this weekend.
The Red Devils will host Leeds at Old Trafford on Sunday in what will be their first league meeting for 16 years.
And while Solskjaer himself has been hyping up the fixture, he could use it as an opportunity to rest his two regular central defenders.
Speaking ahead of the game, Solskjaer said (via the Mirror): “Victor and Harry have been very consistent. I thought last season as well they were excellent. Harry played the most minutes in European football last season, and I think he’s enjoying playing.
“Victor is maturing, growing and getting more used to the demands of the Premier League. They have been very consistent but they might come to a point where they might have to rest.”
Maguire has played every minute of United’s Premier League campaign so far. In fact he has missed just two of their 20 matches in all competitions.
Lindelof was left on the bench for his side’s 6-1 defeat to Tottenham, but has been alongside Maguire in every other league game.
With the fixtures set to continue coming thick and fast, a break will be required at some stage. Although it would be surprising if it came against one of United’s biggest rivals.
That is even more true after Leeds rediscovered their goalscoring touch as they beat Newcastle 5-2 on Wednesday.
Injury returnees could deputise
But Solskjaer now has the option to rotate after Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe were declared fit and available.
Bailly has not featured since the defeat to Spurs due to a muscle injury. He was an unused substitute in the Manchester derby, but dropped out of the squad for the trip to Sheffield United.
Tuanzebe, meanwhile, has been struggling with “a small injury” for the last few weeks. But, he could return to make a second Premier League appearance of the season.