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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defiant on Marcus Rashford as Man Utd name 24-man squad for Granada

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has vowed to take care with Marcus Rashford as questions over the forward’s fitness continue to hover over Manchester United.

The England striker has been included in United’s squad for their Europa League quarter-final against Granada on Thursday night in Spain.

Rashford, who recently missed England’s international triple-header due to injury, limped off after 72 minutes of Sunday’s 2-1 Premier League win against Brighton at Old Trafford.

He scored United’s equaliser against the Seagulls but came off after being caught in a tackle and missed training on Tuesday.

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Typically he is desperate to play however and was back in action at Carrington on Wednesday, despite not being 100 percent.

With Anthony Martial injured, Rashford is hoping to lead United’s attack, alongside Edinson Cavani, in Spain for the first leg of the last eight showdown.

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford (centre) shakes hands with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Rashford leaves the field against Brighton

Solskjaer has named Rashford in his 24-man travelling party, but is yet to decide whether he will start in Andalusia.

“I can’t disclose the team now,” Solskjaer said.

“Marcus is travelling and we’ve just got to make a decision tomorrow if he starts or if he’s on the bench.

“I don’t think he’ll be a 90-minute man so let’s see where he’s at tomorrow.”

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Brandon Williams and Marcus Rashford of Manchester United react during a first team training session
Brandon Williams and Marcus Rashford of Manchester United react during a first team training session

Alongside his ankle problem, Rashford is continuing to manage a shoulder complaint that may need an operation after this summer’s European Championships.

And there are fears that, at some point, his determination to represent club and country could backfire.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks on during a first team training session
Solskjaer insists he will take the utmost care with Rashford

However, Solskjaer insists that Rashford’s safety is paramount.

“I don’t pick players when we know there’s a risk,” Solskjaer said.

“Of course there’s always a risk when you step onto the pitch and when you play football.

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Marcus Rashford of Manchester United in training
Solskjaer trusts Rashford to tell him when a problem flares up

“But if the physios and the medical advice is that ‘this is too much of a risk to play him’, I will never ever play a player that we, in advance, know about if it’s going to make it worse or if it’s a serious one.

“Marcus joined in training this morning so let’s see how he reacts. If there’s any risk of making this worse, I’m not going to overplay him.

“His back has recovered. But he’s a tough one and he wants to play, he wants to give his all for Man United and it’s also a responsibility for the player to tell us, as he did on Sunday.

“He said: ‘no, it’s too sore, I’ve got to come off’.”

Eric Bailly remains absent – he is still in the Ivory Coast following a positive Covid-19 test – but Juan Mata is back involved, while 18-year-old Anthony Elanga will be on the bench for the first time.

The big question is over who starts in goal: Dean Henderson or David de Gea?

United’s travelling squad

Goalkeepers : David de Gea, Dean Henderson, Lee Grant, Nathan Bishop.

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Defenders : Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Alex Telles, Axel Tuanzebe, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Brandon Williams.

Midfielders : Amad, Bruno Fernandes, Fred, Daniel James, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek.

Forwards : Edinson Cavani, Anthony Elanga, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford.

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