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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Says Anthony Martial Could Return for Manchester Derby

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Anthony Martial of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford on December 1, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident Anthony Martial will be able to play a part in Manchester United's Premier League clash at Manchester City on Saturday. 

The Frenchman missed Wednesday's 2-1 home win over Tottenham Hotspur due to an injury sustained against Aston Villa, and Solskjaer initially intimated he could be sidelined for a few matches:

Simon Stone @sistoney67

OGS says Martial out 'for a little while'.

Ahead of the first Manchester derby of the season, though, the Norwegian said Martial should make the bench even if he cannot start, but Solskjaer added Paul Pogba remains out of action:

"We hope to have Anthony, definitely, for part of the game. I am not sure he is able to start. Paul probably won't be available, no. We expect him back as soon as possible, as quickly as possible. He's out on the grass training. I said [he'll be back] in 2019, so hopefully we'll see him before the new year, definitely."

Martial's potential return is not only a boost for United because of what the 24-year-old himself provides in front of goal.

He also makes Marcus Rashford play better because the Englishman can flourish on the left flank with Martial as the No. 9.

Mason Greenwood played the central role admirably against Spurs and Rashford scored both goals:

Daniel Harris @DanielHarris

Good. I get why it was 352 against Liverpool, but it's not a great way of playing and definitely not the best way of getting the most out of United's attack. Also, the only way Greenwood can improve now is by playing. Hopefully he's through the middle, not off the right.

But Martial is United's best option in the striker's role, and the Red Devils will need to be as strong as possible if they are to get a victory over City.

The Sky Blues comfortably won both Manchester derbies last season, but they have looked vulnerable in 2019-20, hence why they are 11 points behind leaders Liverpool in the Premier League:

Premier League @premierleague

The #PL top 2️⃣0️⃣ https://t.co/4cGccvS2t4

A 4-1 win over Burnley on Tuesday will have lifted Pep Guardiola's side after a run of just one victory in five in all competitions, and City go into Saturday's match as strong favourites given their superior squad and home advantage.

But while United have not had the best 2019-20 so far, three of their five wins in the Premier League this term have come against top-tier sides in Spurs, Chelsea and Leicester City.

They were also just five minutes away from beating Liverpool before Adam Lallana scored a late equaliser back in October.

United's main struggles this term have come against sides they would traditionally be expected to beat.

They are widely expected to get nothing from their trip to the Etihad Stadium, which could be a dangerous thing for City.