Cape Town - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba are all major doubts for Manchester United's Premier League clash with Newcastle United.
United are currently in the midst of a three-game week as they will be following up Monday’s draw against Arsenal with a trip to AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday before heading to St James’ Park to take on Newcastle three days later.
That would be enough to test the strongest of squads and United already have injury concerns, with forward Martial and full-back Shaw having been absent for a number of weeks with respective thigh injuries.
It had been hoped that one or both of those players would be fit for the trip to Newcastle, but Solskjaer has revealed at his pre-match press conference in Holland that neither is likely to feature.
"We've had Anthony out and I don’t think he'll make it," Solskjaer told reporters.
"Luke is training, but I don't know if he'll make it. We'll speak more after the game as the sole focus is on getting the result we need here (in Alkmaar)."
France international Pogba is also a doubt as he continues to manage an ankle problem.
The 26-year-old came through the full 90 minutes of the clash with Arsenal but has not travelled with the squad to Alkmaar, with Solskjaer confirming he needs further treatment on the problem, which means he may not return until after the international break.
"It's after discussion with a specialist that we’ve planned that he needs further treatment and rest on his ankle," the Norwegian added.
"And I probably wouldn't risk him on AstroTurf anyway, even if he was available for this game. But he needs a bit of rest now."
While Solskjaer was always likely to go with a much-changed line-up against Alkmaar, the potential absences of Martial, Shaw and Pogba on Sunday will be a blow.
United have only won two of their opening seven Premier League matches this season and they currently sit 10th in the table, already 12 points behind leaders Liverpool, while the likes of Crystal Palace and Bournemouth are also above them in the standings.
- TeamTalk Media