Manchester United’s hopes of taking three points off Sheffield United on Wednesday have taken a significant boost as the Blades could be without five first team defenders for the trip to Old Trafford.
The visitors will certainly not be able to select goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who is of course on loan from the Red Devils and as such ineligible to play against his parent club.
Centre-back John Egan is also definitely unavaiable for the Blades due to suspension after being sent off during Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Newcastle United.
Another player who won’t be on the away team bus is Panos Retsos, whose loan from Bayer Leverkusen has expired. Chris Wilder has decided not to activate the option to buy or extend the Greek international’s loan deal, so he has returned to Germany.
Centre back Jack O’Connell is also a doubt. He has been out injured since football resumed after a collision with Dean Henderson in training. Wilder does not sound optimistic, saying ‘He’s not out for the season, which is good news. It’s just a matter of when the injury settles down. As soon as it settles down he’ll be back out there.’ (source: sheffieldunited.news).
And finally, veteran centre-back Phil Jagielka is unlikely to be able to provide cover as he is carrying a knock sustained in training. ‘Jags went over on his ankle in training. So we’re not having the greatest amount of luck with injuries,” Wilder confirmed.
The crisis leaves the Red Devils’ opponents seriously undermanned at the back and they are expected to field a makeshift defence with the likes of Jack Rodwell being drafted in from midfield.
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