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Manchester United were handed a fresh blow ahead of their clash against Watford on Wednesday after defender Donald Love limped off with a suspected hamstring injury just 28 minutes into the Red Devils reserves U21 Premier League clash against Middlesbrough. Louis van Gaal's injury crisis refuses to ease as the club now have 14 players on the treatment table with 11 games to go in the league.
The United U21 side returned to the top of the U21 league table with a 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough on Monday night (29 February) as Sunderland suffered a 1-0 loss to Leicester City. It was the Teesiders who took the lead midway thought the second-half before an Andreas Pereira penalty and an own goal from Nathan McGinley saved the day for the Red Devils' reserves.
Love's injury, as cited by United's official site, will be a cause of major concern for the Dutch manager, who is already facing a major shortage in the full back positions. Luke Shaw, Antontio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo and Cameron-Borthwick Jackson are all sidelined with injury, leaving just Guillermo Varela as the only fit full back in the first team. The Uruguay U20 international, who was keen to leave the club due to lack of playing time, has been used regularly in all competitions and is likely to continue deputising at right-back for the visit of the Hornets.
Van Gaal will be wary of overusing the Uruguayan youngster, as he has played the full 90 minutes in their last three games in the FA Cup, Europa League and Premier League, with all of them coming in the space of six days. The former Bayern Munich manager will be dipping into the U18 side in case of another injury as the Scottish defender has provided cover at right-back this season during Darmian and Varela's absence, with his most recent appearance coming against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League.