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Solskjaer explains de Gea absence & Fernandes benching as Man United boss rings changes vs West Ham


Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has provided explanations for some of the surprise changes to his starting XI to take on West Ham this evening.

West Ham vs Man United

The Red Devils have made the trip to the English capital, for a meeting with David Moyes’ in-form Hammers.

United will enter proceedings in search of a bounce-back performance, having seen their Champions League last-16 hopes dealt a serious blow in a 3-1 defeat to PSG during the week.

Solskjaer’s men will no doubt take heart, though, from the fact that their form on the road has proven considerably more impressive than that at Old Trafford to this point in the campaign.

In fact, just last weekend, the Manchester giants overturned a 2-goal deficit, to eventually emerge with all 3 points at St. Mary’s.

Solskjaer explains de Gea absence & Fernandes benching as Man United boss rings changes vs West Ham

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 29: Edinson Cavani of Manchester United celebrates after he heads in and scores a goal to make it 3-2 during the Premier League match between Southampton and Manchester United at St Mary’s Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Southampton, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

West Ham, though, will prove no pushovers, with the Irons aware that a 3-point haul of their own this evening would guide the club to the dizzying heights of 3rd in the Premier League table, on the back of a trio of consecutive wins over recent weeks.

De Gea & Fred among absentees

As such, it came as something of a surprise when, upon the unveiling of the visitors’ starting XI at the London Stadium, a number of United’s key stars were left out.

As showcased below, none of David de Gea, Fred, Bruno Fernandes or Marcus Rashford have been afforded starting berths this evening, with the former pair not even part of the Red Devils’ matchday squad:

In turn, speaking during a pre-match interview a short time ago, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was inevitably drawn on his latest team selection.

And the United boss went on to confirm that all of de Gea, Fernandes and Rashford have been left out due to respective fitness concerns:

‘With Marcus and Bruno, they’ve been kicked between here and there lately. Bruno’s foot’s been sore since the Southampton game. Hopefully, I don’t have to use him tonight.’

‘The injury against Southampton is something we don’t want to take a risk with. Obviously he played against PSG and hopefully we can have him ready for the Leipzig game as well.’

Finally, regarding Fred, it is claimed that the Brazilian has simply been handed a much-needed rest this evening:

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Tottenham Hotspur FC 10 12 21
2 Liverpool FC 10 5 21
3 Chelsea FC 10 12 19
4 Leicester City FC 10 5 18
5 West Ham United FC 10 6 17
6 Southampton FC 10 3 17
7 Everton FC 11 2 17
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 10 0 17
9 Manchester United FC 9 0 16
10 Aston Villa FC 9 7 15
11 Manchester City FC 9 4 15
12 Leeds United 10 -2 14
13 Newcastle United FC 10 -3 14
14 Arsenal FC 10 -2 13
15 Crystal Palace FC 10 -3 13
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 10 -2 10
17 Fulham FC 10 -8 7
18 West Bromwich Albion 10 -11 6
19 Burnley FC 10 -13 6
20 Sheffield United FC 10 -12 1
Player Team Goals
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 9
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 8
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 8
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 7
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 7
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 7
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 5
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 5
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 5
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 5
Ward-Prowse, James Southampton FC 4
Werner, Timo Chelsea FC 4
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City FC 4
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United FC 4
Jimenez, Raul Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4



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