Manchester United could have former Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani fit for their Premier League clash with Everton at Old Trafford.
Fresh off the back of their victory over Southampton, the Red Devils return to Premier League action on Saturday, and could be buoyed by the return of Cavani.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will, albeit perhaps only briefly with Manchester City set to face Liverpool on Sunday, be able to close the gap at the top of the table if they pick up all three points.
Cavani was hauled off at half-time despite scoring shortly before the break after appearing to suffer a knock but Solskjaer has since confirmed he is expected to be fit to face the Toffees.
“Edinson should be available, definitely,” Solskjaer said. “He got a bad ankle knock there. Eric (Bally) is a doubt. Apart from that, everyone’s raring to go.”
However, it’s not yet clear if Cavani will be risked for the match, especially with tough trips to City and Chelsea on the horizon.
But, should the Uruguayan be deemed fit to play, then it’s likely he will lead the line this evening. That’s because they’ve been forced to rely on Anthony Martial instead, who is simply far too inconsistent for his own good.
The Frenchman was recalled to the starting line-up to face Sheffield United at Old Trafford over a week ago and was nothing short of disastrous in front of goal.
After missing an early chance, the 25-year-old was left on the fringes of the game, as he gave the ball away far too cheaply, and didn’t track back or work hard enough to break down attacks and win back possession of the ball. Martial also took just one shot in the entire game to perhaps best sum up his frustrations, which was far below his last season’s best of 1.8.
And perhaps to perfectly sum up his inconsistency, the Frenchman bagged a brace in the 9-0 thrashing of Southampton just a week later – of course the Saints were down to 9-men so perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into that. But, Solskjaer needs someone up front who can be more reliable in front of goal, rather than blow hot and cold and going through streaks in form.
Cavani on the other hand has been a total revelation for United this season and got himself on the scoresheet against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side to score his fifth league goal of the season thus far. For context, that’s more goals than Martial has managed in 18 top-flight appearances this season, per Transfermarkt.
The 33-year-old is one of the finest centre-forwards of his generation given his European exploits with PSG and Napoli and has scored the third-highest amount of goals of any United player in the Premier League this season.
If Solskjaer is to pick one player to start, he should put all his eggs in the Cavani basket. And given how he scored a late opener in United’s Carabao Cup quarter-final victory over Everton back in December, and also netted deep into injury-time against the Toffees in the Premier League, the Uruguayan has some great form against the men from Merseyside.
It’s exactly why he could prove to be the match-winner against them once more.
AND in other news, Man Utd can find perfect Harry Maguire partner in Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane…