Manchester United left-backs Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams are both doubts for Thursday night’s crucial Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirming the pair are still suffering the effects of injuries suffered in Monday’s Southampton.
Shaw was forced off in the second half when he appeared to painfully roll his right ankle, while Williams, who replaced him as a substitute, suffered a nasty cut during an aerial challenge. He too was withdrawn and United completed the game with just 10 players.
United staff were waiting to fully assess the damage but Solskjaer has confirmed that both players still have swelling around the respective affected areas.
“Luke has got a swollen ankle, so hopefully I’ll give him as much time as possible to recover – it was a twist on his ankle,” Solskjaer said at his pre-game press conference, via ManUtd.com.
“Brandon’s eye, he cut up his eye there, so I don’t really know. We’ve not trained this morning, none of them trained yesterday, so they were both swollen and I’ll give them as much time as possible to get ready,” the United boss added.
Solskjaer also stated that he will not pick the team to face Palace with an eye on Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea, given that he can’t afford to compromise in the former fixture given what it still at stake in the Premier League.
If Shaw, Williams or both don’t make it back in time for the Palace game, Solskjaer has a few potential options, although all would involve a degree of gambling.
With no other recognised first-team left-back, the United boss could turn to versatile Portuguese right-back Diogo Dalot. However, the 21-year-old has only played 65 minutes of Premier League football all season and hasn’t even appeared on the bench in the league since February.
Axel Tuanzebe, a centre-back by trade but who played on the left earlier this season, is unfortunately injured. Therefore, Solskjaer’s other real option is to turn to youth.
Ethan Laird, 19, is a right-back on the fringes of the first-team, having already made two appearances in the Europa League so far this season. Teden Mengi is an impressive 18-year-old centre-back who has been used on the left once at junior level in recent months.
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