The Belgian midfielder was one of our best players in the 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final replay at Upton Park a few weeks ago where he scored our first goal but will miss the game as he’s serving a three game suspension.
West Ham are an extremely tall and physical side and van Gaal is worried about the problems which set pieces could cause us.
“We are normally the smallest team, so we have problems with set plays,” said van Gaal.
“We have to cope with it. I cannot deny that.”
It isn’t only expected to be Fellaini who is unavailable as Anthony Martial is expected to miss the match and van Gaal has made it very clear he will not take any risks with the Frenchman.
“We have to see if his muscle is still tight,” van Gaal added.
“I don’t take any risks because he is a very important player and we don’t want a rupture.”
This is the second time this season where Martial stopped training during the warm-up of a match with a tight muscle and nobody knows his body better than himself, so it’s always right to take precautionary measures rather than risk a serious injury – especially with the FA Cup final in a couple of weeks.
However, United showed against Norwich City at the weekend how blunt we are in attack without the raw excitement and movement Martial brings to our side, so I do fear how we’re going to look at Upton Park in a game we simply have to win.
As long as Marcus Rashford is brought back into the side then we’ll at least have somebody making runs in behind but our hopes will be pinned on the shoulders of an 18-year-old which is neither healthy for him or the club, not in a game which could define whether we get into the Champions League next year.