Pogba likely to start af­ter Wat­ford re­turn

Manchester Evening News - - UNITED V NEWCASTLE - By SA­MUEL LUCK­HURST

OLE Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer has all but con­firmed Paul Pogba will start for United in to­day’s en­counter with New­cas­tle.

Pogba re­turned from a 12-week ab­sence with an an­kle in­jury in the 64th minute of United’s spine­less 2-0 de­feat at Wat­ford on Sun­day and was de­scribed as the sole pos­i­tive by Sol­sk­jaer.

The United man­ager’s de­ci­sion to name an un­changed league team back­fired again at Vicarage Road and changes are in­evitable against New­cas­tle at Old Traf­ford.”Let’s see how he re­acts to this, how he feels,” Sol­sk­jaer said of Pogba. “He did re­ally well when he came on. Big, big plus.

“It might be that we do get him in from the start be­cause you just want to get more and more into the team when he plays.”

Pogba was given a free role with United 2-0 down in an ef­fort to sal­vage some­thing from the game and it re­mains to be seen whether Sol­sk­jaer will ac­com­mo­date him with mid­field main­stays Scott McTom­i­nay and Fred.

Jesse Lin­gard has gone over 25 hours with­out a Premier League goal or as­sist and is vul­ner­a­ble to a de­mo­tion and Daniel James was sub­sti­tuted be­fore the hour mark at Wat­ford.

Although Pogba’s po­si­tion has been prob­lem­atic at times for United, Sol­sk­jaer views his ver­sa­til­ity as a pos­i­tive: “He can play any­where. He can play the whole mid­field. He’s a box-to-box mid­fielder. He can drop deep, get it, play them long passes. He can get higher up and com­bine like he did to­day, one-twos. Him and An­thony and Mar­cus started cre­ated chances down that side.

“So, it de­pends on the [game].

That’s the beauty of hav­ing Paul, be­cause he is the best all-around mid­fielder in the world. He can do all roles but if I am play him low, he should have played high. And if you play him high, you should have played low.

“There’s al­ways go­ing to be that dis­cus­sion with him but it’s great to have him back.”

Diogo Dalot could re­turn to the United first-team squad for the first time since the 1-0 re­verse at New­cas­tle on Oc­to­ber 6. Dalot played in the Un­der-19s’ friendly win over AC Mi­lan at Leigh Sports Vil­lage on Fri­day night.

Mar­cos Rojo re­sumed full train­ing ear­lier this month and could come back into the fold in place of the in­jured Axel Tuanzebe.

Paul Pogba

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