Premier League injury crisis: Paul Pogba is one of seven players out for Manchester United while Norwich are without an ENTIRE TEAM
- Paul Pogba is one of seven players who could miss Saturday’s game at home
- Pep Guardiola expects Manchester City to miss Aymeric Laporte for six months
- Norwich’s Daniel Farke is without an entire team of senior players this weekend
- Alexandre Lacazette is set to miss at least five matches due to an ankle injury
Premier League clubs have been hit by a spate of injuries as top flight action returns this weekend after the international break…
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is wrestling with an injury crisis as he tries to arrest Manchester United’s worst start to a season since 1992.
Paul Pogba is one of seven players who could miss Saturday’s game at home to Leicester City at Old Trafford due to the ankle injury that ruled him out of international duty with France.
Paul Pogba (pictured) and Anthony Martial are among five already ruled out of facing Leicester
It’s a setback for Solskjaer as he tries to improve on a record of five points from four games – United’s poorest start to a campaign since the Premier League’s inaugural season when Sir Alex Ferguson’s side took four points over the same period.
If there is any consolation for Solskjaer, United went on to win the title and the Norwegian is adamant that his team are on the right track after midfielder Nemanja Matic warned that the manager must ‘bear the responsibility’ for failure.
‘There’s always pressure when you’re here, but of course I’m confident in what we’re doing,’ said Solskjaer.
‘We’ve got a plan and the performances haven’t told me that we need to change direction.
‘We’ve lost one game since July 1 and it sounds like we’re really struggling, but that’s just the way it is at Man United – you have to handle it.
‘We want to get the results we feel we deserve, and now is the time.’ After opening the season with a rousing win over Chelsea, United have lost to Crystal Palace and drawn with Wolves and Southampton.
Another home defeat to an unbeaten and dangerous Leicester side on Saturday would certainly set alarm bells ringing around Old Trafford.
Solskjaer delivered a gloomy injury update on Friday as he called on the rest of the squad to rise to the challenge.
‘The treatment room has been busy and still is, so we don’t really know who’s going to be available,’ he said.
‘Pogba won’t be fit unless he’s had a miraculous recovery overnight. He’s not been ready to do 100 per cent training.
‘We hope more can be ready for West Ham next week and Paul and Anthony are in that category.
‘There’s maybe Aaron, maybe Jesse, and I think that’s it from the ones that pulled out, but I can’t promise those two will be available either.
‘The others step up and here’s your chance. That’s the thing here, young kids do take chances. When they get it, it is a big, life-changing one.
‘I don’t want to talk too much about Leicester. I see them as a good team. I see Man Utd as the biggest and best club in the world, that’s the thing. I’m sure they want to get into the top four as we do.’
Solskjaer revealed that he is confident that goalkeeper David de Gea’s future will be sorted soon, amid reports that he has put pen to paper on a bumper new deal.
Luke Shaw has a strained hamstring and will not face Leicester at Old Trafford on Saturday
De Gea will be out of contract at the end of the season, but Solskjaer said: ‘I’m very – or pretty – confident we’ll get this sorted.
‘David has never, ever said anything else to me, other than he loves this club, he wants to stay here and he’s had a fantastic time, so let’s hope we just get it over the line.’
Pep Guardiola expects Manchester City to be without Aymeric Laporte for up to six months following knee surgery. Laporte damaged the lateral cartilage in his right knee against Brighton and was initially ruled out for the rest of the year.
However, Guardiola admitted that it may be February before the France defender is fit to return, adding that City will wait until December to make a decision on whether to sign a replacement.
Defender John Stones has recovered from a thigh injury that has kept him out for the last three games and will start at Norwich on Saturday.
Guardiola also claimed that forward Leroy Sane could return to action before the end of the year following surgery on a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, while Benjamin Mendy is close to a comeback from his knee injury.
Pep Guardiola has revealed Aymeric Laporte will be out of action for up to six months
The newly promoted side have been decimated by injuries ahead of the visit of the champions.
Manager Daniel Farke is without an entire team of senior players. Norwich have just two fit defenders and goalkeeper Tim Krul faces a fitness test on an elbow problem. Centre backs Ben Godfrey and Grant Hanley are not fully fit at a time when Timm Klose, Christoph Zimmerman, Max Aarons, Tom Trybull, Moritz Leitner, Mario Vrancic and Onel Hernandez are all out injured.
‘I said at the start of the season we would have to climb Mount Everest to stay up and now we are having to do it without tools,’ Farke said.
‘I can’t park the bus even if I wanted to because I have no defensive players. But as long as we can find 11 lads we will fight for the points.’
At least Teemu Pukki has something to smile about after the Finland striker was named the Premier League Player of the Month for August. His five goals, including a hat-trick against Newcastle, saw him chosen ahead of City trio Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne to become the first Norwich player to win the award in the top flight.’I’m delighted for him, he totally deserved it,’ Farke said.
Alexandre Lacazette is set to miss at least five matches because of an ongoing issue with his left ankle.
The France striker is expected to be sidelined until October in a damaging blow to Unai Emery’s side.
Back in July Lacazette limped out of Arsenal’s pre-season clash against Lyon after damaging the same ankle. On Friday, the club confirmed he has been playing with the problem for several weeks.
He will miss this weekend’s trip to Watford as he allows the injury to heal.
Arsenal did not put an exact date on his return but, should he be out until next month as expected, he will also miss their upcoming games against Eintracht Frankfurt, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Manchester United.
After Lacazette first limped off against Lyon in July, Arsenal insisted the injury was not serious.
He left the Emirates wearing a protective boot that day but the Premier League side claimed he had suffered only a sprain.
Six weeks on, however, the same ankle continues to cause him trouble.
Having been on the bench for their opening-day win at Newcastle, Lacazette has featured in Arsenal’s last three Premier League games.
He was not named in France’s squad for their recent Euro 2020 qualifiers and now, following assessments, the striker has been advised to rest and recover.
His absence puts more pressure on strike partners Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe to find the net. Pepe has yet to open his Arsenal account but on Friday, Emery urged fans to give their new record signing time to find his feet following his £72million arrival from Lille.
‘We need people to be patient with him and also help him to be comfortable, to know us, to know the opposition teams,’ Emery said. ‘Each training and each match is very important to be ready and to achieve their performance. And I really think the progress is doing perfect.
Alexandre Lacazette will not play for Arsenal until October due to an ongoing left ankle injury
Alisson Becker will not resume his season until after the next international break after Jurgen Klopp revealed Liverpool will not take any risks with their No1.
The Brazil international tore his calf muscle on the opening weekend of the season. It was initially hoped Alisson – who spent a short period of time on crutches – could return within six to eight weeks, which would have taken him to the beginning of October.
Klopp, though, is prepared to wait longer before asking Alisson to step up his training programme, given the nature of the injury. In the meantime, Adrian will continue between the posts and Klopp is hoping an intense period of training during the international break will raise the Spaniard’s levels.
‘Ali he looks good,’ said Klopp, whose side face Newcastle this lunchtime. ‘He’s improving, but we cannot put any pressure on it. It was a really serious injury with the calf and it is now much better, good for us and good for him.
‘We don’t know exactly. The target was always that after the next international break he could be ready, but we don’t know. There’s no pressure and hopefully everything will be fine for the rest of the season.’ Liverpool are about to enter into a period in which they will effectively play a game every four days for the next two months and Klopp has urged fringe players, such as Joe Gomez, Adam Lallana and Xherdhan Shaqiri, to be ready for when their chance arrives.
‘The first four match days, we won the games, we found a rhythm, so there was no reason for changes – no need for rotation,’ said Klopp. ‘Why rotate to just show ‘you can play as well’ they know they can play as well.
‘But we have to make results so that’s why we kept it pretty much like this, but now we have players who played Tuesday and Wednesday, and so we have to make sure we find solutions and we hope it can work out. This is the most intense period, right through until January. It’s the slog, absolutely.’
UEFA Goalkeeper of the Season Alisson has been out since August 9 with a calf injury
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