Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken a "depleted" squad to Paris for Manchester United’s Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain as captain Harry Maguire and Mason Greenwood have been ruled out due to injury.
The last time United won at Parc des Princes 19 months ago, they had to do so in the midst of an injury crisis with 10 players missing. The situation isn’t as bad this time around but Solskjaer will be without his captain for the opening group stage game as Maguire was left back in Manchester.
Greenwood, Eric Bailly, Jesse Lingard and new signing Edinson Cavani also didn’t make the flight to Paris on Monday afternoon, with the latter only joining his teammates for training for the first time on Sunday due to a two week Covid-19 isolation requirement.
“We've lost a couple so that's Bailly didn't travel or Lingard didn't travel, we're a little bit depleted but have more than enough players,” Solskjaer said. "We hope the players won't be away for too long.
"Edinson needs a few more days training before the weekend. Hopefully Harry, Eric and Mason as well but not sure about that. We hope Harry will be fit for the weekend, we're not sure but we hope so."
There has been mystery surrounding the absence of Greenwood, who also missed the clash against Newcastle at the weekend. Solskjaer said after the 4-1 win that it was a fitness issue and shot down reports the teenager has been omitted due to a disciplinary problem.
“I can't declare medical stuff, can I? We hope it's just a niggle and we don't want to take any chances with him and hopefully at the weekend it'll be fine again," Solskjaer said.
In the absence of Maguire, Solskjaer confirmed that Fernandes, who only joined the club in January, would be captaining the side.
“I was not expecting this, for me it's an honour,” Fernandes said. “I will be captain for my teammates and be captain of Manchester United is an important achievement for me but I think everyone is the captain, everyone needs to help and be a leader in their own way, leadership is different in every player.
"Tomorrow will not be about me but the team but leading is every day in the training ground, every game and everyone is doing their job to lead the team in the way they think is best.”