Europa League: Ighalo Set For Third Start As Man United Face LASK
Odion Ighalo is in line to start in place of the injured Anthony Martial when Manchester United clash against Austrian side LASK in their Europa League Round of 16 first leg tie on Thursday (today).
Ighalo was on target for Manchester United in the previous round against Club Brugge.
The Nigerian scored a brace in his last start against Derby County and will be hoping to build on that.
Martial picked up an injury in the last week’s Manchester derby and hasn’t travelled with the squad to Austria.
Speaking in his pre-match presser, Solskjaer said, “Anthony hurt himself when he slid into the post. So he’s not ready for this game. Hopefully, he can be ready for Sunday [at Tottenham] but I’m not sure. He’s struggling a little bit.”
Along with Martial, Diogo Dalot and Jesse Lingard are also set to miss out after not training with the squad on Wednesday, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka wasn’t in the travelling party as well. Lee Grant, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford remain sidelined for Manchester United.
Solskjaer is expected to make some changes to the side that defeated Manchester City last weekend, while a return to 4-2-3-1 formation is also on the cards for Manchester United. Starting in goal, Sergio Romero is set to replace David de Gea as is the norm for the European competition.
With both Dalot and Wan-Bissaka set to miss out, academy graduate Axel Tuanzebe could be in line to make his first appearance since returning from injury. The young defender ought to start at right-back, while fellow academy man Brandon Williams is expected to get the nod on the left, with Luke Shaw likely to be rested.
Another player in need of a rest is Manchester United captain Harry Maguire, who has been playing with a slight ankle problem. Eric Bailly, who has impressed since returning from injury, should start in his stead, partnering Victor Lindelof, although Phil Jones is also an option for Solskjaer having returned to training this week.
The two-man midfield pivot should also see a notable change as Brazilian superstar Fred has earned a well-deserved rest. In his place, Scott McTominay, who made a substitute appearance in the derby, is expected to start. The Scotsman ought to have Nemanja Matic as his partner.
Bruno Fernandes has faced LASK in Europe this term, back when he was still with Sporting CP. His knowledge of the opposition, coupled with the creative spark that he has added since joining Manchester United mean he should be starting again on Thursday.
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