New Delhi: The English Premier League resumes this weekend after the international break. An international break usually means players returning back with injuries and niggles. Players are assessed on their return by the medial staff of clubs to test fitness and treat injuries.
Despite a tumultuous start to his managerial career in England, Louis van Gaal's problems on the football pitch and off it seem to be easing up. With several players set to return from injury and no new casualties during international duty, the Dutchman will finally breathe easy.
Van Gaal took over team whose confidence was quite possibly at its lowest ebb with mounting injury problems making matters worse. Yet, the red devils have slowly clawed their way back into the top four, something they had not managed for over a year.
As the 20-time league champions prepare to take on West Brom, some of their key players are in contention to make the team for the trip to the Hawthorns.
New signing Ander Herrera’s fractured rib is now poised for a return to first team action sooner than initially expected after he fractured a rib. Fears of him missing for a month have now dissipated and the Spaniard could be back in team as early as Monday. However, the manger is expected to adopt a prudent approach by allowing the midfielder additional rest in order for him to be fresh for the Chelsea match.
United's most consistent performer from the last three years, Michael Carrick, who went through surgery in mid-July, is nearing a return after he participated in a behind-closed doors match at the club’s training ground.
Carrick is likely to be included on the bench at West Brom, with defensive duo Phil Jones and Chris Smalling also ready to make their respective returns from injury. Defensive duo of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have now resumed full training, which bolsters United's options at the back. While centre-back Jonny Evans and Antonio Valencia continue to remain on the medical table.
After a relatively easy fixture list, big tests in the form of West Brom, Chelsea and Manchester City are lined up for the team from Old Trafford as part of their next three league games. With luck finally smiling on Louis van Gaal, he'd be hoping to emerge out of these three games relatively unscathed.