Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed team news ahead of the Red Devils' trip to Russia to face CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday (21 October) night. The Old Trafford club have been handed a boost with Antonio Valencia and Sergio Romero fit to play after being left out for the trip to Everton following their exploits with the national team during the international break.
Paddy McNair and Ashley Young remain sidelined with injuries picked up during the two-week break. The former suffered an abdominal injury during the Republic of Ireland's clash against Finland, while the latter picked up a knock in training after being overlooked by Roy Hodgson for England's Euro 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania. Apart from the duo, Luke Shaw remains a long-term absentee after suffering a double fracture in his leg during United's Champions League clash against PSV Eindhoven. The former Southampton defender, however, has stepped up rehabilitation much to the surprise of everyone at the club, especially Van Gaal.
James Wilson, who has been linked with a loan move to Celtic in January, has also missed out due to illness. The 19-year-old forward has struggled to get regular game time this season, and the club are prepared to let him leave on a temporary basis after the England U21 international agreed a new long-term contract with the 20-time English champions.
"It's the same amount of injuries so Luke Shaw, Paddy McNair and Ashley Young are not going with us," van Gaal told United's official site. "Willo was a little bit ill – Wilson as he is named but, for us, it is Willo – so he shall not travel with us. I'll take 20 players with me. It's a four-hour flight so, if a player gets ill, I have the other player in my environment.
"Of course that was the reason [Romero and Valencia were absent at Everton]. They have to cope with the jet-lag so I didn't think it was wise to take them with us against Everton."
The former Bayern Munich manager, however, has indicated that he will not make too many changes to the team for the clash against CSKA and it is likely that it will be a team similar to the one that won convincingly against Everton in the Premier League on Saturday (17 October). The Red Devils face a crucial game against local rivals Manchester City on Sunday (25 October), but the manager has hinted that his team selection will not be influenced by the upcoming derby. United are currently second in Group B with all teams equal with three points.
"I am not stupid. I won't change too much on Wednesday," Van Gaal is quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.