Manchester United will be without six first-team players for their clash against Liverpool in the second leg of the Europa League last-16 clash at Old Trafford on Thursday (17 March). Louis van Gaal, however, will be boosted by the return of Jesse Lingard, who missed the first leg through suspension, and Bastian Schweinsteiger is also likely to make the starting XI after making a cameo during their FA Cup quarter-final draw against West Ham United on Sunday (13 March).
Wayne Rooney will be the biggest miss in a game that needs them to overcome a two-goal deficit to make it to the quarter-finals of the second tier European cup competition. The striker, who suffered a knee ligament injury during their loss to Sunderland earlier in the year, is not expected to return until after the international break.
Apart from the English striker, the remaining absentees are more long-term absentees, especially Luke Shaw, Will Keane and Ashley Young, who have all been under the knife this campaign, with the latter two having their surgery in the second-half of the season.
"Bastian Schweinsteiger returned from injury as a substitute against West Ham at the weekend and the German may come back into the starting XI on Thursday. Jesse Lingard missed the first leg through suspension and is now expected to feature, but Wayne Rooney will not be involved after telling reporters that he won't return from injury until after the international break. Luke Shaw, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Phil Jones, Ashley Young and Will Keane are all still missing," a statement on United's official site read.
Keane, meanwhile, has provided an update on his recovery and has admitted that he is working hard to return stronger. The striker suffered a groin injury during United's 3-0 win over Shrewsbury Town in the fifth round of the FA Cup, following which the Dutch manager confirmed he will require a surgery, which has put paid on his chances of returning before the end of the campaign.
"Work in progress to get back where I want to be," Keane wrote on his official Instagram page.