Manchester United vs Liverpool: Daley Blind and Ander Herrera missing from Europa League clash

17 Mar

Manchester United are unlikely to be without first-team pair Daley Blind and Ander Herrera for the Europa League clash against Liverpool on Thursday night.


The two players did not arrive at as part of the side’s 18-man squad at Manchester’s Lowry Hotel on Thursday morning.

Antonio Valencia and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson are likely to return, but manager Louis van Gaal must navigate the second leg without Blind, arguably his most consistent player this season.

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Ander Herrera will also miss the match

Blind has started 43 matches this season and despite pre-season fears that he did not have the physical tools to handle Premier League strikers, has become an extremely dependable centre-back.

The last time the Dutchman didn’t play was in the derby against Manchester City on 25 October. 

Herrera has not always been first-choice under Van Gaal, but has been a regular in recent weeks and was decent against West Ham United at the weekend.

Van Gaal with have to toy with a number of options to find a starting team as he looks to overturn a 2-0 first leg defeat.

Chris Smalling will definitely fill one centre-back spot, but may play alongside Marcos Rojo or Michael Carrick. On the left, Rojo, Borthwick-Jackson or Matteo Darmian could start, although Van Gaal may elect to start Darmian on the left with Guillermo Varela on the right.

Herrera’s absence leaves Van Gaal short in the middle of midfield, with Bastian Schweinsteiger not fit to start despite returning to training.

A combination of Carrick, Marouane Fellaini or Morgan Schneiderlin will start. 

Further forward the front four of Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martian and Marcus Rashford is likely to continue.

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