Paul Pogba heads a lengthy Manchester United injury list for the visit of in-form Leicester City to Old Trafford today with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer potentially missing seven first-team players.
Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial, Diogo Dalot and Eric Bailly will also definitely miss the clash with the Foxes, while Jesse Lingard and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are both doubtful after withdrawing from England’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo.
Pogba twisted his ankle in the 1-1 draw at Southampton two weeks ago and did not play for France in their two matches during the international break, with the midfielder expected to return for the match at West Ham on 22 September.
Shaw (hamstring) and Martial (thigh) have still not recovered from the injuries sustained in the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace on 24 August, while Dalot (hip) and Bailly (knee) are longer-term injuries. “The treatment room has been busy and it still is,” said Solskjaer. “We don’t really know who is going to be available. Maybe Aaron and Jesse will make it but that is it from the ones that pulled out. Paul will not be fit, not unless he has a miraculous recovery. He has not been ready to do training at 100%.”
United are looking for their first win since the opening day of the season with draws at Wolves and Southampton either side of the Palace defeat leaving them down in eighth, three points adrift of Leicester in third.
Under former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, Leicester are aiming to return to the top six at the expense of the likes of United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Tottenham, three years on from their remarkable Premier League title triumph.
Leicester’s visit will mean an early reunion with his old club for Harry Maguire, who swapped the Foxes for Old Trafford this summer in an £80mn transfer that made him the world’s most expensive defender.
Liverpool leave title
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s sizzling start to the Premier League season has left their title rivals breathless and the red-hot leaders are expected to maintain their perfect record against Newcastle today.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have seized the early initiative in the Premier League with four successive wins to open up a two-point lead over second placed Manchester City.
The European champions’ relentless tempo has overwhelmed Norwich, Southampton, Arsenal and Burnley, sending a message that they are determined to make amends for narrowly failing to pip City to the trophy last season.
City may have won the last two Premier League titles in scintillating fashion, but Liverpool look better than ever this term and Newcastle are unlikely to halt their progress at Anfield this weekend. With City playing Norwich in today’s late game, the champions could be five points behind Liverpool by the time they kick off at Carrow Road.
Pep Guardiola’s team are unbeaten and have already thrashed West Ham and Brighton, but their lone slip — a draw against Tottenham — allowed Liverpool to seize pole position and they can’t afford another against second bottom Norwich. Mauricio Pochettino must hope the closure of the European transfer window lifts the mood at Tottenham, who host fourth placed Crystal Palace looking to secure only their second win. Pochettino was concerned that speculation over the futures of several Tottenham players, including Christian Eriksen, had unsettled his squad. But Eriksen remains with Tottenham in the final year of his contract.
Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham will become only the third player aged 21 or younger to score two or more goals in three consecutive Premier League games, matching the achievement of Cristiano Ronaldo and Dele Alli, if he bags another brace at Wolves.
(1400 GMT unless stated)
Today: Brighton v Burnley, Liverpool v Newcastle (1130 GMT), Manchester Utd v Leicester, Norwich v Manchester City (1630 GMT), Sheffield Utd v Southampton, Tottenham v Crystal Palace, Wolves v Chelsea
Tomorrow: Bournemouth v Everton (1300 GMT), Watford v Arsenal (1530 GMT)
On Monday: Aston Villa v West Ham (1900 GMT)