Manchester United’s players will be given a short holiday between the end of the Premier League season and restarting their European campaign, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed.
While Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has decided not to give his team a break before they take on Real Madrid in the Champions League, Solskjaer will allow his squad time off from training at Carrington next week following Sunday’s final league game at Leicester.
United’s defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final means they will not have to prepare for the final a week on Saturday, and a 5-0 first-leg lead over LASK Linz has taken the pressure off their Europa League second leg against the Austrians in Germany next month, which is pencilled in for August 5.
The Red Devils therefore have a 10-day window between their season-ending clash with Leicester and the Europa League showdown with LASK.
‘We’ll give them some time off,’ said Solskjaer. ‘The effort has been fantastic and they need mental and physical time away from the place to recharge the batteries.
‘We’ve got a 5-0 lead (over LASK) so we won’t have to go into that game chasing two or three goals as you would normally.’
United’s trip to the King Power Stadium on Sunday will be their 11th game in 37 days since restart and Solskjaer admits it has taken its toll on the players.
‘When the last game of the season is in front of you, you expect any players to have bruises, aches and tiredness,’ he added.
‘Even though this season has been different it’s been a draining one for everyone.
‘We’ve got enough energy for 90 minutes, I’m sure. There will be injury-time as well so we’ve got enough time.
‘But having been so far behind when lockdown came we had to go for it – go for goals and go for points. It’s been a great effort by everyone to get into this position with one game to go.’