Van Gaal: Di Maria will miss Manchester United clash with Southampton

Wayne Rooney is also set for a scan on his injured knee on Wednesday, while Daley Blind is unlikely to recover from his knee problem before Christmas

Louis van Gaal admits he does not expect Angel Di Maria to be fit for Manchester United’s clash with Southampton on Monday.

The Argentina international limped out of Saturday’s 3-0 win over Hull City with a hamstring injury and subsequently missed United’s 2-1 win over Stoke City on Tuesday evening.

Wayne Rooney was also absent due to a knee problem and the forward is set to undergo a scan on Wednesday to determine his availability for United’s trip to St Mary’s on December 8.

“We have to wait for tomorrow to say anything about it because you never know with a knee,” said Van Gaal.

“But in my opinion it is not so heavy – but I am not a doctor. We have to wait for a scan and then we will know more. Di Maria is not so heavy, but of course he shall not play against Southampton, but you never know.”

Van Gaal also revealed that Daley Blind, who continues to recover from a knee injury, is unlikely to feature before Christmas.

“It is not so heavy. Christmas maybe. I think that at the end of December maybe we will see light in the tunnel [for Blind],” said Van Gaal.

United’s win over Stoke was their fourth consecutive victory in the Premier League and they now sit a point behind third-placed Southampton, who travel to Arsenal on Wednesday evening.

Marouane Fellaini opened the scoring but Steven N’Zonzi pulled Mark Hughes’ men level before the break. Juan Mata’s free-kick secured the three points for United, and Van Gaal believes the win was well deserved, despite a sub-par display in the first half.

“I am not happy with the performance. I was not pleased with the first half. We were not so aggressive as in the last match and we want to play in the same style,” said the Dutchman. 

“In the second half we played much better, keep the positions, more aggressive but then you have to finish it. [James] Wilson could have finished it, Fellaini could have finished it. 

“In England when it is like that you know the coach of the other team shall do something and Peter Crouch we knew in advance. It is difficult to defend long balls and a great save from [David] De Gea.

“You have to see the whole match and say there is one team that deserved it and that is Manchester United.”

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