Manchester United look set to face West Ham without midfielder Fred, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping for good news over Marcus Rashford’s fitness.
United travelled the captial on Friday evening ahead of Saturday evening’s clash at the London Stadium. However, their travelling party did not include Brazilian midfielder Fred, left out after his misdeeds against PSG in midweek.
Fred was shown a red card against the Ligue 1 giants as United slipped to a costly 3-1 home defeat. That setback has left their hopes of Champions League progress in the balance. They must now avoid defeat at RB Leipzig to reach the knockout stages.
With Fred unavailable in that clash in Germany, he was expected to be a shoo-in for the game against the Hammers.
However, according to the MEN, Solskjaer has taken the decision to leave Fred out of his squad in response to the red card.
The paper claims Fred trained as normal through the day. Therefore, his omission from the matchday squad appears to be down to some sort of disciplinary decision taken by Solskjaer.
The United manager was unusually vocal in his condemnation of the player, offering him no sympathy.
United are also sweating over the fitness of Rashford. He has been struggling with a shoulder problem for the best part of a month and was forced off against PSG.
Solskjaer has not given up on him featuring against West Ham on Saturday, which is followed by the Leipzig tie on Tuesday and Manchester City arriving at Old Trafford next weekend.
“Marcus has been training this morning, not fully but he’s joined in with the group,” the United boss said.
“Obviously his shoulder stopped him finishing the game, so he’s been getting treatment and hopefully he’ll be part of the squad that travels.
“He’s having treatment now after training.”
Rashford’s availability would be a welcome boost against West Ham. But the ongoing issue raises questions about how to best handle the forward.
“Of course that’s a medical issue, how serious is it,” Solskjaer said.
“At the moment he’s getting that tiredness towards the end or that soreness towards the end that stops him from completing the games. Hopefully it won’t take too long to completely go away.
“But of course you think about how you manage these players throughout the whole season anyway.
“Marcus, as you say, he’ll run through a brick wall for you and that’s the type of lad he is.
“We’ve just got to be fingers crossed that it doesn’t get worse because at the moment it is still manageable.”
Solskjaer hopes to silence West Ham fans
The London Stadium has been an unhappy hunting ground for the Red Devils in recent years.
West Ham could beat United for a third successive home league match for the first time since the mid-1970s. And their chances are boosted by the return of 2,000 supporters.
“It’ll be great playing in front of fans, we’re looking forward to it,” Solskjaer said.
“Of course we won’t have our fans there but we’ll just have to use the energy or thrive off the home fans. Hopefully we can make them quiet and that might make them edgy.
“We’re looking forward to it. It’s great to see fans back in a stadium. Of course we want it back in Old Trafford as well and hopefully we’ll get that soon.
“Football is not the same, it’s not been the same, so great (to see some back).
“Of course we’re a bit bruised and disappointed after Wednesday night but hopefully we’ll be ready to go again.”