Sweden coach says Victor Lindelof will be rested due to ‘brutal’ period for the Manchester United defender


Defensive headache

Back-to-back defeats in the Premier League and Champions League has led to defensive question marks of Manchester United. Harry Maguire, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelöf have all come in for criticism centrally.

The loss in Turkey highlighted naivety for Demba Ba’s goal. Players pushed far too high up the pitch, spatially unaware of the danger of which they were punished leading to an eventually loss.

So far, two clean sheets have been kept in the league and Europe. Pressure has mounted on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Norwegian was forced to substitute Axel Tuanzebe on Wednesday. Scott McTominay replaced the 22-year-old despite Lindelöf’s presence on the bench.

Solskjaer confirmed the Swede had a back problem after the match as the reason as to why he chose not to go for a like-for-like switch. “Victor has got a bad back so he couldn’t play and Axel stepped in,” said the United coach. Odd he was still included amongst the substitutes despite the affliction.


With the international break just a week away, Sweden manager Janne Andersson has warned that he will need to rest Lindelöf amongst other key parts of his squad.

“With him [Viktor Claesson], and many others, the load level is different. Players like Marcus Berg, Kristoffer Olsson, Emil Forsberg and Victor Nilsson Lindelöf have had an almost brutal fixture list towards the end. We have to be very careful and responsive about those players when we gather together,”  said Andersson.

Despite this, the coach did confirm the defender and a number of others are however recovering from their knocks.

“Filip Helander is back, has played and done well. Victor Nilsson Lindelöf is doing very well.”

Solskjaer’s combined £120 million-plus centre-back partnership may be under scrutiny. However, with the minimum of a couple months until further reinforcement could be acquired, the current or possible future coach will need to get the best from what they have got.

See also: Arsene Wenger opens up on criticism he faced towards end of Arsenal tenure: ‘Very brutal’

Man United not prioritising centre-back signing in current transfer window

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1 Liverpool FC 7 2 16
2 Leicester City FC 7 8 15
3 Tottenham Hotspur FC 7 9 14
4 Everton FC 7 4 13
5 Southampton FC 7 2 13
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 7 0 13
7 Chelsea FC 7 7 12
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15 Manchester United FC 6 -4 7
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 7 -3 5
17 Fulham FC 7 -7 4
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20 Burnley FC 6 -9 1
Player Team Goals
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 8
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 8
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 7
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 7
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 6
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 6
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 6
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 5
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 5
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 4
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 4
Jimenez, Raul Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4
Rodriguez, James Everton FC 3
Jorginho Chelsea FC 3
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 3
Ward-Prowse, James Southampton FC 3
Werner, Timo Chelsea FC 3
Antonio, Michail West Ham United FC 3

Source: 101greatgoals.com