Manchester United have been hit by a striker crisis ahead of their trip to Watford on Saturday with Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial and Marouane Fellaini all ruled out.
According to Manchester Evening Standard, Louis van Gaal will have to make do without these players and more in the early Saturday game. He made this known in his pre-match press conference on Friday.
Rooney came back from international duty with an illness and hasn’t reported for training for the last two days, Martial picked up a badly bruised foot in France’s defeat to England at Wembley on Tuesday while Fellaini is still troubled by a calf injury that kept him out of Belgium’s game during the international break.
Also out is midfielder Michael Carrick, who twisted his ankle playing for England in Spain. In all, United will be without six players because Luke Shaw (Broken leg) and Antonio Valencia (ankle)are long-term casualties.
Louis van Gaal will speak to Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin to see if they are in the right mental state to play after being involved in the France v Germany international in the Stade de France on the night of the Paris terrorist attacks.
Van Gaal said: “I think that everybody knows Carrick and Martial are injured, but also injured is Fellaini. That’s a surprise because I thought he was recovered after the international break, but still he is injured. And that’s a big blow because Rooney is ill, so we have a big problem, I think.
“Rooney came back ill after the break. I have only seen him once, the day after the internationals, and then he was at home. I don’t think he can play either.”
The good news is that Martial, Carrick and Rooney should all be back for the Champions League game against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday.
Wayne Rooney hasn’t reported for Man United training in the last two days due to illness.
Van Gaal added: “Martial’s injury is not so heavy as everybody has written in the media, but he cannot play against Watford.
“Maybe PSV for Martial but it’s not certain, and I think Rooney shall also play then because illness is not something of many days. And Carrick will play a lot quicker than everybody has written, his injury is not so heavy.”
The injury crisis opens the door for Memphis Depay, who has not started a Premier League game since being substituted at half-time during the 3-0 defeat at Arsenal on October 4.
Van Gaal also talked about the chance to see some young guns feature in the Champions League next week.
Youngster James Wilson could figure although Van Gaal says he hasn’t had enough football to play for 90 minutes.
He added: “Wilson can play but he cannot play a whole match because he doesn’t have the rhythm of the game.”
Van Gaal has already spoken to midfield pair Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger but will assess their mental state.
He added: “What they have told me is private I think, but we have communicated about it.
“I think it is, for every human being in this world, a big blow, so I don’t think I have to mention what our discussions were. Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin can play, if we don’t take into account this event that has happened.”
As for the singing of the French national anthem at all Premier League grounds, Van Gaal said: “We, as a member of the sport of football, cannot do too much.
“But we can give support in symbols, and I think this is a nice thing for the French people, the victims and the relatives of the victims. I think it can give them force and strength to survive.”
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