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Martial injury confirmed by Solskjaer as Man Utd striker misses Club Brugge clash

The Frenchman picked up a knock in training which has seen him sidelined for the Red Devils’ latest Europa League outing

Anthony Martial has been forced to sit out Manchester United‘s clash with Club Brugge due to injury, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed.

The Red Devils will play host to the Belgian club in a Europa League round of 32 second-leg tie on Thursday night, with the tie finely poised following a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at Jan Breydel Stadium.

Martial scored a crucial equaliser in the first leg after capitalising on a moment of confusion in the Brugge defence, and scored his 15th goal of the season three days later in a 3-0 Premier League win over Watford.

However, Solskjaer will have to make do without his first-choice centre-forward this time around, with January loan signing Odion Ighalo drafted in as the Frenchman’s replacement.

“He didn’t feel right after the training yesterday, or (rather) he walked off during training and he’s injured,” the United boss said of Martial in a pre-match interview.

“So hopefully it won’t be too bad but I don’t really know yet how long he’ll be.”

Ighalo will be making his first start for the Red Devils since joining the club on a six-month deal from Shanghai Shenhua.

The Nigerian frontman has featured as a substitute in United’s last three matches, but he will be leading the line from the off against Brugge, with Daniel James and Bruno Fernandes providing support in the attack.

Elsewhere, Scott McTominay has returned to the starting line up after recovering from a knee issue which has kept him out of action since Boxing Day.

Eric Bailly is also back in the fold after missing the Watford victory, with Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka making up the rest of the United defence.

“They [Bailly & McTominay] need the minutes, but they deserve to play,” Solskjaer added. “Eric did really well against Chelsea and Scott has been fantastic all season, but it is not a game to just give minutes, we want to win the game and win it well.”

The Norwegian head coach will prepare his squad for a return to Premier League duties after their latest European outing, with a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton on the cards this Sunday.

The Red Devils can keep the pressure up on fourth-placed Chelsea by earning  three points, before their focus shifts to an FA Cup fifth-round tie against Derby next Thursday.

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