Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that new signing Edinson Cavani and club captain Harry Maguire will miss the Red Devils’ trip to Paris for Tuesday’s opening group stage match of the Champions League.
Cavani and Maguire are joined by Mason Greenwood, Jesse Lingard, and Eric Bailly, who were all left out of the traveling squad on Monday. Solskjaer confirmed that Edinson Cavani still needs to work on his fitness levels, while Maguire sustained a minor knock.
Manchester United have had a terrible start to their 2020-21 Premier League campaign, losing two of their opening three games, which included a 3-1 loss at home to Crystal Palace and a 6-1 demolition at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford. United conceded eleven goals in their opening three games.
The Red Devils did, however, bounce back against Newcastle on Saturday as they beat Steve Bruce’s men 4-1, which will be a huge source of positivity for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian has come under fire in recent weeks, with his job reportedly on the line.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rules out Edinson Cavani and Harry Maguire for Champions League clash with PSG on Tuesday
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Solskjaer will now face a stern test on Tuesday against last season’s Champions League runners-up Paris Saint-Germain. Solskjaer will, however, face a shortage of options in various areas of the park due to injuries and knocks sustained by his players.
“We hope the players won’t be away for too long. Edinson needs a few more days of training before we can maybe think about the weekend (against Chelsea). Hopefully Harry, Eric and Mason as well, but not sure about that,” said Solskjaer.
Edinson Cavani joined Manchester United on a free transfer on the final day of the transfer window. Cavani had to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in the United Kingdom.
Manchester United will also miss club captain Harry Maguire on Tuesday. Maguire has had a dismal start to the 2020-21 campaign, but showed glimpses of a return to form in United’s victory against Newcastle. Maguire scored the equalizing goal, with a superb header from a corner.
In Harry Maguire’s absence, Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes will captain the side for the first time, which he discovered while sitting alongside his manager for the news conference.
“I was not expecting this. To be captain of Manchester United is an important achievement. But everyone needs to be a leader. Tomorrow is not about me, it is the team.”
Fernandes has become Manchester United’s talisman since joining the club from Sporting Lisbon in January. The Portuguese international played a key role in helping United reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup and Europa League, and most importantly qualifying for the Champions League last season.
Fernandes has already scored three goals this season, including a crucial striker in Saturday’s victory over Newcastle at St James’ Park.
“I have played well the last few months, (but) I can do much better. I know my numbers are good, but I am sure I will do better,” said Fernandes.
Manchester United fans would have hoped to see their new No. 7 Edinson Cavani in action against his former club on Tuesday. Cavani has not played a competitive game in months, but will be hoping to be available for United’s crucial Premier League clash with Chelsea this weekend.