Valencia poised for United return

Antonio Valencia is poised to return from a long-term foot injury for Manchester United’s Europa League first leg tie at Liverpool.

Man United: Valencia poised for United returnMan United: Valencia poised for United return

The 30-year-old Ecuador international could be named as a substitute for ThursdayÂ’s round of 16 match at Anfield after recovering from an operation on his foot which has sidelined him for five months.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, who has not played since the FA Cup victory against Sheffield United in January, is also closing in on a return but is likely to miss the game on Merseyside.

Marouane Fellaini was on the bench in the defeat at West Brom on Sunday and is in contention to feature in the game.

Boss Louis van Gaal said: “I don’t think (any new players shall be available), but Valencia is of course fit enough to be on the bench. But to play 90 minutes, I don’t think so.

“Valencia is coming back, (Bastian) Schweinsteiger is coming back.

“I think a lot shall come back in March but when they come back it is not so easy to decide if they can cope with the rhythm of a match because they are fit to train with us.

“But, for example, Schweinsteiger only one has one training session with us behind him.

“Valencia has a week so he is much closer to be on the bench, for example, but not to play in the (entire) match. That is different.”

Winger Jesse Lingard will miss the first leg through suspension after he was booked in both legs of the previous round against FC Midtjylland

Adnan Januzaj is cup-tied, while Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Will Keane and Luke Shaw remain absent.

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