Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under pressure.
Set to drop into the bottom half of the Premier League is they don’t win at St James Park on Sunday, Manchester United have only won one PL game since the opening day of the season.
Lucky to get past Rochdale on penalties in the League Cup, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now in the middle of three games in six days including an away match in the Europa League.
To cap it all, the Man Utd manager has a number of injury/fitness concerns and also a dilemma on how to balance the risks to his team for Thursday night in Holland against AZ Alkmaar, before Newcastle away on Sunday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has now said that Paul Pogba [ankle injury], Anthony Martial [thigh strain] and Luke Shaw [hamstring] are all set to miss tonight’s game in Holland, plus all three are serious doubts for St James Park on Sunday.
Meanwhile Phil Jones is still out injured and Aaron Wan-Bissaka is missing due to illness tonight and both are also doubts for Newcastle.
On top of everything else, there are serious issues with the pitch for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The game is being played in Den Haag because a roof at AZ Alkmaar’s stadium collapsed in August and Den Haag play on an artificial pitch at their Cars Jeans Stadium, a pitch that has been flagged up by many as a nightmare for potential injuries.
Solsjaer has to consider whether to risk the likes of Marcus Rashford on that pitch tonight, his only available senior striker who is just back from a groin strain injury.
From a Newcastle point of view, obviously it will be great to see as many of their first choice players playing tonight as possible.
Man Utd have failed to win any of their last nine games [all competitions] away from home so big pressures ahead of tonight and especially Sunday.
Will Newcastle United be able to capitalise though…?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on his injury problems ahead of AZ Alkmaar and Newcastle:
“We’ve had Anthony [Martial] out for a while, I don’t think he’ll make it.
“Luke [Shaw] has been training but I don’t think he’ll make it.
“This is a week with three games: Monday, Thursday, Sunday.
“So that plays on my mind.
“It is not the pitch…well it might be the pitch after we have seen the players [train on it] tonight.
“We will have a nice and easy session and see if there’s a reaction.
“Hopefully there won’t be.”