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Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Bad news for Manchester United as another star player is ruled out for two games

According to Manchester United Evening News, Manchester United are set to be without the services of Romelu Lukaku for the game against Watford on Saturday. 


Lukaku missed United’s FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Wolves and sources close to the Belgian have told the MEN Lukaku ‘needs some time’ to recover.

Lukaku’s return date was described as ‘unpredictable’, though United have an eight-day gap between their Premier League trip to Wolves on Tuesday and Champions League quarter-final first leg at home to Barcelona.

United striker Lukaku is believed to have suffered the foot injury in the Champions League comeback at Paris Saint-Germain and aggravated it in the loss at Arsenal on March 10.

Lukaku has not played since then but Belgium coach Roberto Martinez insisted he report for international duty at the national team camp in Tubize, where Lukaku had an MRI scan that ruled him out of their European Championship qualifiers against Russia and Cyprus.

Lukaku’s absence for the Wolves match plunged United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s attacking plans into disarray, as he recalled Jesse Lingard (hamstring) and Anthony Martial (groin) for their first starts in over a month, while Ander Herrera (hamstring) lined up for the first time in almost three weeks and Juan Mata (hamstring) emerged off the bench, having spent the same period sidelined as Herrera.

A source told the MEN Lingard’s recall was a ‘massive risk’ and England coach Gareth Southgate, who spoke to Lingard before and after the Wolves game, described his outing as a ‘huge risk’ and that Lingard ‘was very conscious’ of his hamstring during the tie.

United could be restricted to four forwards again for the visit of Watford on Saturday, with Alexis Sanchez not due back until next month, though Martial, Mata, Lingard and Marcus Rashford were not on international duty. Martial (knee) and Rashford (ankle) withdrew while Lingard and Mata were not selected, though Southgate was ‘surprised’ Lingard played at Molineux.

Nineteen members of United’s 25-man first-team squad did not participate for their nations during the spring internationals, as only David de Gea, Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay featured for their senior sides, while Diogo Dalot represented Portugal Under-20s. Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic were among the other withdrawals.

Valencia played for the first time in over two months for Ecuador in their friendly with the United States in Orlando last week but could be discounted for selection this weekend by Solskjaer, who has only played the 33-year-old once. The underperforming Valencia will also be released by United upon his contract’s expiration on June 30.

Phil Jones returned from a month-long illness to make the bench against Wolves, Matteo Darmian is fit and Ashley Young is available again after serving a one-match suspension for the FA Cup match.

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