Ahead of Manchester United’s FA Cup clash with League 2 side, Cambridge United, later this evening, the defensive duo of Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling will be missing in action, Red Devils Boss, Louis Van Gaal has announced in his pre-match conference. According to the Dutch tactician, the pair in addition to Ashley Young are definitely out of contention for a place either on the bench or on the field due to injury.
While Smalling suffered his injury during a training session at the club’s Carrington training ground, Evans limped off during the team’s 2-0 away victory against QPR at Loftus Road. Though the defensive duo have been much maligned this season due to their unconvincing displays at the heart of the Red Devils’ back four, they remain the best option for Manchester United if they will stand any chance of catching the posse of teams chasing Champions League spots in the Premier League.
It’s not all gloom and doom from the injury room however as Robin Van Persie and Luke Shaw have been declared fit to feature for the Red Devils. The former Arsenal striker has struggled to replicate his stellar first season form this season as injuries and lack of fitness has restricted Van Persie while the team has suffered a lack of goals.
His return to the team is expected to boost the team’s options forward while offering the team experience which it has been solely lacking as Van Gaal’s trust in younger players has not yielded the much needed experience needed to win games. In contrast, Luke Shaw has not really had the opportunity to showcase the immense talent that saw Manchester United shell out an eye-watering £30m to secure his move from Southampton in the summer of 2014 due to a series of injuries that he has had to grapple with since joining the Red Devils.
New acquisition, Victor Valdes, who joined the Red Devils on an 18-month deal is also expected to be handed his first start after sitting on the bench for the games against Southampton and Queen Park Rangers. The Red Devils were handed a trip to Cambridge United for the fourth-round of the FA Cup after beating Yeovil Town 2-0 in the third-round.