Solskjaer Concerned About Keeping Squad Fit During Festive Period

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Manchester United travel to Sheffield tomorrow to begin what will be an extremely crucial period for his side. It’s the holiday season now and that means festive period fixture congestion, and with it, a heavy workload that is very tough on the players and mentally taxing for the managers.

United are in the same boat as everyone else, forced to be mindful of not over-stressing the players on their roster, and potentially getting them injured.

Manchester United at Sheffield United FYIs

Kickoff: Thurs Dec 17, 8pm GMT Bramall Lane

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“We have to be mindful of little strains and niggles and decisions have to be made,” Solskjaer said at a press conference today.

“From kickoff against Sheffield United to kickoff against Aston Villa (on New Year’s Day), it is 16 days, so it’s going to be very tight. It will be hard to have everyone 100% sharp.”

There are six games in 17 days on the docket, with all matches coming three days apart. Tomorrow looks to be the easiest match, at least on paper. But there is one key player who is out for United, Edinson Cavani.

“Edinson has done well in his rehab,” Solskjaer added.

“We still have to make the decision if we should risk him. It is a little bit to risk him too early, I’d doubt him to be available to pick.”

Long term injury absentee Phil Jones, to the extent that he even figures in the selection these days, is expected to be match fit again in the new year.

The same goes for Marcos Rojo, who also isn’t even truly a part of the plan right now with this side.

Coming off what was probably the most boring Manchester derby of all time, (although both managers said they were pleased with the goalless result), United are looking for a reason to get their fan base excited again tomorrow night.

Crashing out of the Champions League, the only English side to do so thus far, was a tough pill to swallow. However, the Premier League title race is still very wide open this year, and their for the taking to any team that can truly step up and assert themselves.

Solskjaer has a tremendous advantage right now as his side is near full fitness. Other rivals just don’t have that luxury right now.

christmas man united old trafford

Manchester United 3, Sheffield United 0

This was the scoreline of the last meeting, and with Blades looking lifeless right now, expect another blowout here.

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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