Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he is impressed by new signing Edinson Cavani’s meticulous approach to training and the Uruguay international is in line to make his debut for the club in Saturday’s Premier League clash against Chelsea.
Cavani, who joined the Red Devils on a free transfer this month after his Paris St Germain contract expired last season, had to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in the United Kingdom.
The 33-year-old was ruled out of the 4-1 league victory over Newcastle United and missed the 2-1 Champions League win at his former club on Tuesday, but has worked on his fitness levels to come into contention for his first game since March.
“Of course, he’s been away from football for so long, he needed a pre-season,” Solskjaer told reporters on Friday.
“He’s naturally fit and he’s been looking after himself… now he’s getting more training sessions individualised so he feels ready to train with the team and play with the team.
“He’s been very meticulous and methodical in his training and his preparation. He didn’t feel ready for the PSG game… he hadn’t done enough sharpness work, but he’s managed to do that this week. Let’s see if that means he’s ready for Chelsea.”
Solskjaer’s side are 15th in the Premier League table with six points from four matches, while Chelsea are ninth with eight points but have played one game more.
Everton’s Ancelotti says Pickford focused ahead of Southampton clash
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti said goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is unaffected by the intense criticism he has faced following a tackle on Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and will start Sunday’s Premier League clash at Southampton.
Premier League champions Liverpool confirmed Van Dijk will undergo surgery on damaged knee ligaments after the challenge in last Saturday’s Merseyside derby which ended in a 2-2 draw.
Pickford has since been blasted by pundits and Merseyside Police are investigating threats to him online, but Ancelotti said the England international had not let the incident hamper his preparations.
“He’s going to play. I don’t take into consideration to take him out,” Ancelotti told reporters on Friday.
“I saw him in training this week and he was focused, he put in a good performance and was concentrated. This is what I want to see from a player.
“If he has a problem I want him to come to me to talk but he didn’t come to me, so I think he’s absolutely OK.”
Pickford made a number of errors last season, prompting Ancelotti to sign Sweden international Robin Olsen on loan from Roma on transfer deadline day.
But the Italian manager was measured in his assessment of Pickford’s form early in the current campaign.
“Sometimes he did well, sometimes he could do better. That’s it,” Ancelotti added.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURES
|FT||Aston Villa||0 – 3||Leeds United||View events|
|14:30||West Ham United||–||Manchester City|
|19:30||Wolverhampton Wanderers||–||Newcastle United|
|20:30||Brighton & Hove Albion||–||West Bromwich Albion|
English Premier League Standings
|#||Team||MP||W||D||L||F||A||D||P||Last 5 matches||H2H|
|1||Everton||5||4||1||14||7||+7||13||D W W W W|
|2||Aston Villa||5||4||1||12||5||+7||12||L W W W W|
|3||Leeds United||6||3||1||2||12||9||+3||10||W L D W W|
|4||Liverpool||5||3||1||1||13||13||+0||10||D L W W W|
|5||Leicester City||5||3||2||12||8||+4||9||L L W W W|
|6||Arsenal||5||3||2||8||6||+2||9||L W L W W|
|7||Wolverhampton …||5||3||2||5||7||-2||9||W W L L W|
|8||Tottenham Hotspur||5||2||2||1||15||8||+7||8||D W D W L|
|9||Chelsea||5||2||2||1||13||9||+4||8||D W D L W|
|10||West Ham United||5||2||1||2||11||7||+4||7||D W W L L|
|11||Manchester City||4||2||1||1||7||7||+0||7||W D L W|
|12||Southampton||5||2||1||2||8||9||-1||7||D W W L L|
|13||Newcastle United||5||2||1||2||7||9||-2||7||L W D L W|
|14||Crystal Palace||5||2||1||2||6||8||-2||7||D L L W W|
|15||Manchester United||4||2||2||9||12||-3||6||W L W L|
|16||Brighton & Hov…||5||1||1||3||9||11||-2||4||D L L W L|
|17||West Bromwich …||5||2||3||5||13||-8||2||D L D L L|
|18||Burnley||4||1||3||3||8||-5||1||D L L L|
|19||Sheffield United||5||1||4||2||7||-5||1||D L L L L|
|20||Fulham||5||1||4||4||12||-8||1||D L L L L|