Friday, April 10, 2020

Pogba absent from Man Utd squad as Solskjaer looks to avoid overload

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 Dec 2019

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Paul Pogba is once again missing from the Manchester United squad for Saturday’s trip to Burnley despite making substitute cameos in both of the club’s two previous matches.

France international Pogba has been absent for most of the season due to a foot injury and illness, and he played for the first time in nearly three months when United were beaten 2-0 by Watford last weekend.

He was arguably United’s best player after his introduction at Vicarage Road, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer again kept him in reserve as they thrashed Newcastle United 4-1 on Boxing Day.

It was suggested Pogba’s fitness was being carefully managed in order to avoid a recurrence, with the trip to Turf Moor seemingly the ideal opportunity to give him his first start since returning.

But he has not even travelled, news that will surely worry some supporters given the transfer speculation that has surrounded him for much of the season.

Real Madrid are said to be keen on midfielder, who is reportedly frustrated by United’s inability to challenge for major honours.

But Solskjaer insists Pogba has been left at home simply to avoid overloading him so soon after finding fitness.

“Paul has played in two games and has been out for a while and it didn’t feel right to play him [on Saturday],” Solskjaer told MUTV.

Scott McTominay is also missing having been forced off in the Boxing Day win – Solskjaer suggesting at the time knee ligament damage was a possibility for the Scotland international, but the “full scan” has not been carried out yet.

Nemanja Matic is the main beneficiary of those absences, as he comes in for only his third Premier League start of the season, with Fred and Andreas Pereira also lining up in midfield.

Solskjaer has opted to rotate both full-backs as well.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw drop to the bench, with Brandon Williams and Ashley Young taking their places.

Mason Greenwood has to accept a spot among the substitutes despite scoring as a starter two days ago, with Daniel James coming back in.

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