LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 16, 2018: Liverpool's Sadio Mane scores the first goal past Manchester United's goalkeeper David de Gea during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

De Gea & Pogba ‘ruled out’ of Liverpool clash as Man United face doubts over 8 others

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has ruled out both David de Gea and Paul Pogba as Man United prepare to host Liverpool, with further doubts over eight other players.

De Gea suffered a groin injury on duty with Spain during the international break, while Pogba is struggling with an ankle problem that saw him miss France’s clashes with Iceland and Turkey.

Joining the key duo on the sidelines are Eric Bailly and Phil Jones, while Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Diogo Dalot, Jesse Lingard, Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof and Mason Greenwood have faced issues of late.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Anthony Martial have also spent time in the treatment room in recent weeks, and cannot be considered guarantees to start on Sunday.

This leaves Solskjaer with a paper-thin squad, with Sergio Romero set to fill in for De Gea between the sticks, and further pressure on the likes of Marcus Rashford, Daniel James, Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe.

It is certainly a more comfortable situation for Liverpool, with Alisson, Joel Matip and Mohamed Salah all back from injury and Xherdan Shaqiri the only first-team regular set to miss out.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 12, 2019: Manchester United's manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær (Solskjaer) before the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between Manchester United FC and Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Of course, I would like to tell you positive news,” Solskjaer told reporters on Friday.

“Hopefully we’ll see on Sunday who’s come through the last two sessions as well.

“Because there are players here that just started training, just on the verge of coming back or not, so I can’t really say.”

These comments are not promising for United, with Solskjaer therefore suggesting he could be forced to call upon some players who have edged late medical tests.

The odds are stacked against Sunday’s hosts, but still Liverpool cannot underestimate them despite heading into the game 15 points ahead.

Predicted United XI: Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; McTominay, Matic; James, Mata, Martial; Rashford