Europa: Pogba Out of Man United’s Clash with AZ Alkmaar
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will miss tonight’s Europa League tie at AZ Alkmaar because of a foot injury.
Pogba, 26, played the full game against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup and Premier League game against Arsenal, but is troubled with an ongoing foot issue.
Winger Anthony Martial and defenders Luke Shaw, Phil Jones and Aaron Wan-Bissaka also miss the trip, but teenager Brandon Williams is included.
United opened their Group L campaign with a 1-0 victory over Astana.
Diogo Dalot and Angel Gomes are available but France World Cup winner Pogba is the big miss for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, although no timeframe was given for his return.
The club said: “Following a specialist’s opinion, Paul Pogba requires a period of further rest and conservative treatment for the foot injury he sustained during the game against Southampton in August. Updates will follow in due course.”
Meanwhile, Romanian champions, Cluj will face a much-improved Celtic in their Europa Group E clash tonight than the one they defeated 4-3 in Champions League qualifying in August, according to manager Neil Lennon.
Cluj’s victory over their Scottish counterparts in Glasgow ensured they progressed on aggregate, only to lose in the play-off round.
“It is a new back four more or less and a new goalkeeper – we’ve been on a very good run since then,” Lennon said.
“I’ve been delighted with the reaction and the style of play, and the motivation the players bring.”
Lennon thinks the opportunity “to right a wrong” will be good “extra motivation – as long the players don’t get over-emotional”.
He admits “some of the players just weren’t ready” for that Champions League qualifier but believes that his summer signings now have a greater “cohesion and understanding” of Celtic’s style of play.
He promised his side would play “on the front foot” as they look to build on their opening 1-1 draw in Rennes.