Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that centre-back Eric Bailly is unlikely to face West Ham at Old Trafford on Wednesday night as he recovers from a head injury, although club captain Harry Maguire is expected to play without issue.
A collision between Maguire and Bailly during Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea left both players requiring treatment. The former was able to carry on with only a head bandage that he soon removed, but the latter came off and stayed in hospital overnight for checks.
Bailly left hospital on Monday and allayed fears of any serious damage with a social media message that read, ’I am ok, it was just a scare’. But he didn’t return to United’s training ground until Tuesday morning, almost certainly ruling him out of featuring against West Ham.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident there will be no lasting issues, although he admitted during his pre-match press conference that Bailly is unlikely to play.
“Eric stayed down in London for all the checks, so he’s done all the checks,” Solskjaer said. “I didn’t see him yesterday and he’s followed the protocols that are needed. I don’t think he’ll be ready for this game. I’ve not seen him this morning yet, this is before we meet the players. I think everyone is available apart from that, no other injuries from last week.”
On Maguire, Solskjaer said, “He was in [on Monday] and should be fine.”
United go into the West Ham level on points and goal difference with fourth place Leicester, who they will face at the King Power Stadium on the final day of the season on Sunday.
Victory on Wednesday would give United a commanding advantage ahead of what would effectively then be a Champions League playoff against the Foxes, who have already played 37 games.
But as long as United at least avoid defeat in both games they will finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League for only the third time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired seven years ago.
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