Manchester United’s Carabao Cup campaign begins on Wednesday, against Rochdale at Old Trafford, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking to rotate his squad during a congested period of fixtures.
Our third-round tie against the League One side is the first of three matches to take place in eight days, which includes Arsenal in the Premier League and a European away day against AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League.
Wednesday’s game could see the return of Paul Pogba. The Frenchman has been out of action since withdrawing from the France national team with an ankle injury.
“He’ll probably get some minutes against Rochdale,” the boss said.
“But we definitely think he’s ready for Arsenal.”
The World Cup winner should be available for the midweek contest if the manager opts for his experience in the middle of the park.
Mason Greenwood was absent from Saturday’s squad with a bout of tonsillitis, and the youngster, who scored his first senior goal for United in our Europa League win against Astana, will be hoping to be back in contention to play this week.
However the boss will be without Marcus Rashford, who was substituted after an hour in our 2-0 defeat to West Ham due to an injury. It’s not known how serious the injury is or how long Marcus will be out for, but Ole will be unable to select the England international due to his groin problem.
Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial will both miss Wednesday’s match, as the full-back and centre-forward continue their recovery from injuries sustained before the international break, while Eric Bailly remains sidelined with his long-term knee problem.
A LOOK AT THE OPPOSITION
As for Rochdale, our local visitors have received a boost by the return of veteran striker, Aaron Wilbraham. The 39-year-old who has played for Hull City, Bolton Wanderers and Bristol City to name a few, returned to Dale’s squad in their 2-1 defeat to Fleetwood Town at the weekend, following a spell out with a calf injury.
“It’s great news for everyone,“ said manager Brian Barry-Murphy. ”He’s an inspirational figure within our dressing room and one who sets the tone with his example on the pitch. It’s a big lift to everyone at a time when we might have few injury problems.“