Manchester United are preparing to be without David de Gea and Paul Pogba for their crunch clash with Liverpool on Sunday as the Old Trafford crisis deepens.
De Gea has compounded United’s injury problems after he limped out of Spain’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Sweden on Tuesday night with a groin strain.
The goalkeeper will be assessed by the club’s medical staff when he returns to Carrington on Thursday but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted on Wednesday night that he is unlikely to play.
‘David needs a scan,’ said the United boss. ‘I think he’ll be out. It certainly looked like it anyway judging on last night so it’s just one of those things.’
No 2 keeper Sergio Romero will step in to play his first league game in 17 months as a patched-up United face a Liverpool team looking to equal Manchester City’s record of 18 straight Premier League wins.
United will also be without Pogba who is recovering from an ankle and foot injury after playing just twice since August.
The Frenchman has returned from a warm weather rehabilitation break in Dubai with his right foot still in a protective cast and is expected to be out of action until the end of the month.
Asked about Pogba’s availability for Liverpool, Solskjaer said: ‘No chance. Paul had an injury, came back, worked really hard, played a couple of games, played through the pain barrier.
‘He had a scan after the Arsenal game and needed a few weeks’ rest in a boot so hopefully he won’t be too long, but he won’t make this game.’
United had hoped a number of their injured stars would be back in time for Sunday’s game but Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard and Diogo Dalot are all understood to be struggling.
Anthony Martial, who has not played in almost two months due to a thigh injury, is fit again but has still not trained with just three days to go until the Liverpool game.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is in a similar situation after missing the last three games with a bout of tonsillitis. Although United’s £50million summer signing has recovered, he has yet to take part in full training.
It is a worrying scenario for Solskjaer who has seen United slip to 12th place in the table following their worst start to a season in 30 years.
Although United are continuing to back the Norwegian, it’s understood that he feels a heavy defeat by the club’s biggest rivals could put his job in jeopardy.
Liverpool have surged to the top of the table after a perfect start and some bookmakers on Wednesday night made United 4/1 to win the game.
It’s the second biggest price on them to win a home Premier League game behind the 6/1 odds on a victory over City in April.
Meanwhile, Alexis Sanchez has been ruled out for three months after making just four appearances for Inter Milan on loan from United.
Sanchez dislocated his left ankle and damaged tendons playing for Chile against Colombia at the weekend, and had surgery in Barcelona on Wednesday.
Inter released a statement saying: ‘The visit confirmed the diagnosis of the Inter medical staff and the decision was made to proceed with surgery on the left ankle. The operation went exactly as planned.’