8th March, 2020
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Harry Maguire will be fit enough to feature in Sunday’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford.
Our captain, who turned 27 on Thursday, missed the Reds’ 3-0 Emirates FA Cup win over Derby County, after rolling an ankle in training, and the manager says it’s not clear whether the centre-back will be able to face Pep Guardiola’s side.
“Well, he’s touch and go because he rolled his ankle but, hopefully, he’ll recover quickly,” Ole told reporters at Pride Park in his pre-match press conference to preview the City clash.
“I wasn’t going to rest him today, I didn’t give him a day off birthday-wise but I hope he’ll be fit.”
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James are also doubtful after missing the trip to Pride Park.
When asked whether the pair would be fit for Sunday’s test, Solskjaer said it was too early to call.
“I hope so, yes, but none of them have been training yet since the last game, so we’ve got to look at them on Saturday probably because tomorrow is a recovery day.”
Solskjaer hinted post match that Odion Ighalo could be in his plans for the weekend after he notched a brace against the Rams.
If Maguire doesn’t make a recovery in time for the weekend, although Eric Bailly played at Derby, Axel Tuanzebe is also an option for the manager.
The 22-year old returned to the matchday 18 as an unused substitute for our fifth-round win, after being out of the senior squad for over two months with injury.
Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Lee Grant are still sidelined for the Reds.
The Blues had a question mark over Kevin De Bruyne’s involvement due to a back problem and influential defender Aymeric Laporte is sidelined with a hamstring strain.
Winger Leroy Sane, who has not featured for the first team this term after a knee injury, made his comeback in an Under-23s fixture with Arsenal recently.
Pep Guardiola revealed on Friday that De Bruyne
“feels better”, so the Belgian should start, but Sane will not be rushed back this weekend.
Phil Foden, who performed well in the Carabao Cup final victory over Aston Villa, is pushing for inclusion with Guardiola saying:
“He is ready and he has to be ready. Next games, he is going to play.”
Top scorer Sergio Aguero seems to have shrugged off a niggle as he netted the only goal in the Emirates FA Cup win at Sheffield Wednesday in midweek.