United in crisis mode with just one fit centre-back
Manchester United have been plunged into a defensive crisis after Louis van Gaal revealed that he has only one centre-back available for their English Premier League clash against West Ham United.
The Red Devils' defensive fragility was exposed in spectacular fashion last week when they twice threw away a two-goal lead to lose 5-3 at newly-promoted Leicester City.
To compound the situation further, a suspension for Tyler Blackett along with injuries to Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans have left Marcos Rojo as the only senior option at centre-back for van Gaal.
Chance for youth
The Dutch boss said: "We have nine injuries and one suspension with Blackett. The younger players can have their chance now.
"All the three right-sided centre-halves are out, I don't know how long they will be out for.
"Evans is a very difficult one. His bone is bruised a lot and we have to wait and see, to evaluate it.
"Smalling yesterday ran out of the training session because he had stiff legs. We have to see what that means but I don't take risks with players.
"I have to admit that I have never been in this situation before (in terms of number of injuries). It is strange, for me it's difficult to understand. We are evaluating what we can do in a different way."
Aside from using either Daley Blind or Darren Fletcher as a stop-gap, van Gaal is considering blooding 19-year-old academy player Paddy McNair.
Source: Football365, PA Sport