Europa: Odion Ighalo Likely to Start against Club Bruges

Odion Ighalo (right) at training ahead of tonight’s clash with Club Brugesj in Europa Round of 32

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that January signing Odion Ighalo is in contention to start the first leg of Manchester United’s Europa League last-32 game against Club Bruges this evening.

The former Super Eagles striker, 30, made his debut in the 2-0 win over Chelsea last weekend when he came on as substitute.
“I won’t tell the team today but we will have to rotate with all the games coming up,” said the United manager.
“He’s one that could start, we’ve not 100% decided yet.”

The Norwegian added: “Odion is a different type of striker.
“We have seen him in training. He knows how to play as a centre-forward – he’s a fantastic professional and human.
“We need to give him as much game time as possible.”

Defender Victor Lindelof could be included in United’s starting line-up after recovering from illness to train with the squad on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old Swede did not play in Monday’s win at Chelsea.
Midfielder Scott McTominay, who has not played since the Boxing Day win over Newcastle having suffered knee ligament damage in the game, also trained but is not part of the squad.

The diagnosis on striker Marcus Rashford and midfielder Paul Pogba was not as positive for United fans.
When asked whether Pogba, who has been dealing with a recurring ankle problem, would return to training with the squad, Solskjaer said: “He’s not anywhere near that yet.”

And on England striker Rashford, who suffered a stress fracture in his back in January, Solskjaer said the outlook was worse.
“I would hope he’s playing this season – it will just be touch and go towards the end,” added the Norwegian.

“I was hoping he would recover quicker than what it looks like he’s going to be out for. Another few months definitely.
“If he’s not fit enough he won’t go [to the Euros].”

Club Bruges are expected to win their 16th Belgian title having established a nine-point lead, with former Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet having played a major role in their success this season.

The 31-year-old Belgian is likely to be reminded of his Reds connection during the two-legged tie. He said: “It’s not me against Manchester United or me playing against an English team.

“It’s Club Brugge against Manchester United and we have to play our game as a team and as a club to try and give us the best platform to play the second leg at Old Trafford.

“I’ve said it before, Manchester United are a really good team. They’re playing well. It’s going to be a fixture; it’s going to be tough challenge.
“And for our boys, it’s a new challenge to face against an English team at the European stage so we look forward to that in the first place.”