Manchester United News: Paul Pogba, Dean Henderson, David de Gea

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Manchester United are the last potential challengers to Manchester City for the Premier League title, however their prospects of finishing on top are diminishing by the day.  Saturday’s dropped two points at the death, at home against Everton really inflicted serious damage on their title hopes.

With Manchester City’s surging form and growing advantage at the top of the table, it’s already looking like United’s best chance for the first trophy of the Ole Gunnar Solskajer era lay elsewhere.

Manchester United vs West Ham United FA Cup 5th Round FYIs

Kick-off: 7:30 pm GMT Tuesday Feb. 9, Old Trafford

Team news for both sides: go here

United starting XI Prediction: go here

An even bigger price was paid, in addition to two points dropped, in the draw against Everton. Star midfielder Paul Pogba, left the weekend match with a thigh injury.

Scans on the Frenchman have been completed, and he has a thigh injury that will keep him on the shelf for “a few weeks.” Manager Ole Gunnar Solskajer said to the in-house web channel: “It’s an injury that will take a few weeks to heal.

“He’s just started his recovery, working with the medical staff and we’ll get him back as soon and as safely as we can. Of course, Paul has been very important for us and we’re not going to take any risks. A few weeks [out] definitely.”

That’s a massive blow, of course, but United have actually done very well in the games that Pogba has missed this season. Although that could be more a function of the weaker opposition United faced in those games. Nevertheless, Manchester City keep rolling without Kevin de Bruyne, so Manchester United will be tasked with trying to keep up, and hopefully close the gap, without Paul Pogba.

Elsewhere Dean Henderson is now in serious competition to unseat David de Gea as the number one. Henderson has started every domestic cup tie, and should get the call in between the sticks tomorrow night.

De Gea made a couple massive mistakes in the draw against the Toffees, and these gaffes show that he could be in danger of losing his starting gig.

“For me, [Henderson] has developed his game,” Solskjaer said.

“I know he’s not played as many games as he would’ve done last season — you see every game when he plays and in training you see his improvement, working hard on a couple of aspects that we’ve spoken about. And I’ve been impressed with his attitude and work rate.

“Every player has to earn the right to earn his place of course — we’re a squad with competition and that applies to absolutely every single one in the team — and that is the same for every single one of us.”

Henderson has only made two starts in the Premier League this season, one of which came against Sheffield United, the team he spent last season on loan with.

david de gea

“He’s played well when he’s got the chance,” Solskjaer added.

“He’s not the most patient guy — he wants to play every game because he knows he will perform well so long may it continue because he’s improved since he’s come here.”

United are five points behind City at the top of the table, and that’s having played an additional game.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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