Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has announced that both Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial could make early returns for Manchester United’s showdown with Liverpool on Sunday.
The pair were not expected to return to action until March after sustaining injuries during last week’s 2-0 Champions League defeat to Paris St-Germain at Old Trafford.
During the match, Lingard was forced to withdraw before half-time due to an apparent hamstring problem with Martial joining him on the sidelines shortly afterwards.
Speaking ahead to United’s Premier League clash with old rivals Liverpool, however, manager Solskjaer confirmed the duo are in line for earlier than expected returns.
“I hope and think Anthony will be ready and I hope Jesse will be ready because it’s two different injuries,” Solskjaer told MUTV.
“So maybe more hope than think, with Anthony as well, but he’s got a chance. Anyway, we still hope Jesse could be ready. Let’s see. We’ve still got a couple of days’ training left and they need to be part of it.”
He added: “They’ve not been part of it yet, but they’ve been doing some recovery work and Anthony’s was a different muscle, of course, so we think that he might be ready and hope that Jesse will.”
Both players have impressed greatly at United since Solskjaer arrived in December to replace Jose Mourinho in the Old Trafford dugout.
Lingard’s strong run of form in recent fixtures has even earned him comparisons with Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta, while Martial’s improved circumstances convinced him to sign a new long-term contract with the Red Devils last month.
“Every single player has their attributes to give us something and I think the way we played against Chelsea shows that we can manage without them as well,” said Solskjaer on Lingard and Martial’s importance.
“We’ve got options, it’s a big squad, good players, everyone’s eager.
”They [Lingard and Martial] want to play this game and some of them haven’t played so much. If they get a chance in this game it’s a chance to step forward, so if they don’t make it, it might be the same team as we played against Chelsea. Who knows?“
The Premier League match between United and Liverpool at Old Trafford will begin at 3:05 PM (CET) this Sunday.