Manchester United’s first loss of the Premier League season has put the brakes on the hype train that has been running at full tilt following a summer of big name signings.
Saturday’s first Manchester derby between José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola ended with a 2-1 home defeat for United and early bragging rights going to their city neighbours.
While the early season loss will sting, it is not however a fatal blow to United’s title ambitions. More worrying for Mourinho is the emerging news that newly returned defender, Luke Shaw, looks set to miss United’s Europa League clash with Feyenoord on Thursday.
The 21-year-old has only recently returned from a season on the sidelines following the horrific leg break he suffered during their Champions League encounter with PSV Eindhoven last September.
Substituted late in the second half on Saturday, it is being reported, via the Manchester Evening News, that Shaw has suffered a hamstring injury that will require assessment in order determine the extent of the injury.
Shaw is regarded as a key piece in Mourinho’s defensive plans this season so any time back on the physio table will not be a welcome development for the manager.
However, Mourinho is not likely to be too concerned about Thursday’s Europa League encounter as it is expected that the Portuguese will ring the changes, allowing fringe players like Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Michael Carrick, Ashely Young and Morgan Schneiderlin to stake their claim for Premier League starting places.
With Marcos Rojo set to deputise for Shaw against Feyenoord, eyes will now be on the Premier League clash with Watford on Sunday, with fans hoping the England international can shake off this latest injury and return for the vital, must win, away clash at Vicarage road.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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