Wayne Rooney has been left out of Manchester United’s Europa League clash in Denmark on Thursday.
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Rooney, 30, hasn’t traveled with the Red Devils for the Round of 32 first leg tie versus FC Midtjylland.
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UPDATE: Reports suggest Rooney has suffered a knee ligament injury and will be out of for up to two months.
Louis Van Gaal is under plenty of pressure following United’s 2-1 defeat at Sunderland last weekend — that was their seventh defeat in the PL this season as they’re six points off the top four with 12 games to go — and now is without his talisman.
Van Gaal admitted following the defeat at Sunderland that winning the Europa League will be United’s best chance of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League next season with their top four hopes fading fast. What has changed since Saturday? Sure, injuries have been a problem with Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Bastian Schweinsteiger and others out but the decision to leave experienced players behind is a curious one.
LVG has named a very weak squad for this trip as youngsters Regan Poole, Joe Riley and James Weir could all make their United debuts plus Donald Love and Will Keane could feature again after appearing at Sunderland on Saturday. Sure, United’s fans might not care too much about the Europa League but surely LVG should try and grab whatever silverware he can this season?
Also, other English clubs might not be best pleased as England and Italy continue to move closer in the UEFA coefficient ranking, meaning poor performances by English teams in the UCL and the Europa League this season could mean Italy grabbing a fourth UCL spot instead of England.
Man United squad vs. FC Midtjylland
De Gea, Romero, Love, McNair, Smalling, Blind, Poole, Riley, Carrick, Herrera, Schneiderlin, Lingard, Pereira, Weir, Mata, Memphis, Martial, Keane