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Paul Pogba hands Man Utd timely boost ahead of crunch Champions League clash


Manchester United’s preparations for their Champions League clash with Istanbul Basaksehir have been boosted after Paul Pogba took part in first-team training on Monday.

Having featured for France during the international break, the midfielder was conspicuous by his absence from the squad for Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League win against West Brom.

Solskjaer said on Monday that Pogba had been struggling with a knock but expects to be able to pick the United midfielder for Tuesday’s Group H clash.

And the French midfielder appeared in high spirits as he joined his team-mates for a training session at the club’s state-of-the-art Carrington HQ.



Paul Pogba of Manchester United in action during a first team training session

Whether the World Cup winner starts the Tuesday’s clash  at Old Trafford remains to be seen, but Solskjaer is hopeful he’ll be fit enough to be included in his matchday squad.

“We hope he’s going to be available,” Solskjaer said. “He trained this morning. See if there’s any reaction when we report tomorrow.

“Still Luke Shaw is out, Phil Jones is out. Jesse is still self-isolating after being in contact with a positive ( coronavirus ) case.

“There’s one or two little things we need to look at in the morning but hopefully everyone else is available.”



Fred and Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United in action during training

Solskjaer also admitted on Monday that United may need six points from their three remaining Champions League group stage games to qualify for the next phase of the competition.

United won their opening two games against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig before losing 2-1 to Basaksehir and Solskjaer said Tuesday’s return fixture at Old Trafford offered them the chance to respond and consolidate their position.

They currently lead Group H with six points but could potentially drop out of the top two if they lose again.



Coach Kieran McKenna of Manchester United in action during a first team training

“We started well with two wins but we were disappointed with the last game against Istanbul. We need 10 points to go through but you may need 12 points,” Solskjaer told reporters.

“We’re going to go into this game to try and win it and to win it well with a good performance because we have games coming thick and fast. That defeat last time was a big blow.

“The Turkish champions, you know it’ll be difficult. Nothing unexpected, but our level of concentration needs to be better. The goals we conceded, we caused our problems with organisation. We need to be more patient, disciplined in our positioning.”





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