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At the pre-match press conference ahead of Manchester United’s highly anticipated clash against Leeds on Sunday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer offered an update on the fitness of two defenders.
The Red Devils’ historic rivalry with the Yorkshire side will be rekindled this weekend after Leeds return to the top flight after a long absence, in a massive match for both fan bases.
Solskjaer was questioned whether the fact that Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof played the full 90 minutes in the team’s last nine Premier League matches was ‘exhausting’ for the duo.
After praising the pair, he also offered an update on the team’s other two center-back options, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe, stating that the duo are recovering from “minor injuries.”
Solskjaer expects Bailly and Tuanzebe to be “available” for the Leeds clash, but the Norwegian did not exactly suggest that the usual center-back pair will be rotated.
Here’s what Solskjaer said about Manchester United’s four main center-backs; Maguire, Lindelof, Bailly and Tuanzebe … pic.twitter.com/sHSJVK4bI0
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“Victor (Lindelof) and Harry (Maguire), they have been very consistent, even last season I also thought they were excellent.”
“Eric (Bailly) and Axel (Tuanzebe) have had minor injuries, they are available to us for Leeds, I hope, so let’s see what we do.”
“Obviously Harry played the most minutes in European football last season, I think and I think he is enjoying playing, Victor is also maturing, growing and getting more and more used to the demands of the Premier League.”
“They have been very consistent, I am very happy with them, but it could get to a point where they have to rest, of course.”
The Tuanzebe academy graduate has started two of his five appearances so far this season, and the 23-year-old has seen 223 minutes of action so far.
Injury-prone Bailly, on the other hand, has played more minutes than Tuanzebe, despite being out of play for some time, with 277 minutes out of his four appearances in all competitions.
With the hectic Christmas season on the horizon, it is not surprising to see that Solskjaer was questioned about a possible rotation at the heart of the defense.
Maguire and Lindelof have been quite stable so far this season, helping the team to achieve victories, Solskjaer’s “break” comment suggests that they may be offered a break at some “point”.