Manchester United vs Queens Park Rangers preview - Injuries concern Van Gaal

Posted Saturday, September 13, 2014 by PA

Louis van Gaal admits he is extremely worried about the number of injuries his Manchester United players are suffering.

Van Gaal will be without nine senior players for Sunday's match against QPR due to injury.

The treatment room was even busier before the international break, when Luke Shaw and Rafael were also out.

Van Gaal's predecessor David Moyes had to do without key players at times last year and the Dutchman is worried about the trend.

"This is a big concern, you are right, I think," the United manager said when it was put to him that United had suffered a lot of injuries in recent years.

Ashley Young was the latest first-team player to join the injury list this week when he suffered a groin problem.

Van Gaal demands a high level of intensity from his players in training, but the former Bayern Munich manager appears unwilling to reduce the workload on his squad.

"We have to evaluate how we train, but for the level I demand as a coach we need to train like that," said Van Gaal, who often puts his players through double sessions.

"But the players have to adapt to that level and that's the crucial thing.

"Because we have to grow and develop ourselves to the top of this sport, the Premier League.

"But I am always evaluating myself. That philosophy has brought a lot of titles, I'm sorry to say that."

Chris Smalling, James Wilson, Sam Johnstone, Reece James, Jesse Lingard, Michael Carrick, Young and Marouane Fellaini are unavailable for the visit of QPR.

Phil Jones is also set for a month-long layoff due to a hamstring injury he suffered during England's 2-0 win over Switzerland on Monday.

After taking his summer spending past the B£150million mark last week, Van Gaal still has plenty of options available though.

Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Shaw could all make their first appearances for the club.

The United boss was giving little away regarding whether star striker Radamel Falcao would make his debut following his loan move from Monaco.

"I cannot tell if you he plays or not, because that's our surprise," Van Gaal said.

Falcao has only played 217 minutes for club and country since he suffered a serious knee injury in January.

Van Gaal has no idea how long it will take for the Colombian to get back to his best.

"That's a question we cannot answer," Van Gaal added.

"That's also dependant on form, shape and we cannot predict that."

Harry Redknapp has branded threats QPR could be thrown out of the Championship if relegated from the Premier League this season as "unrealistic".

The Rangers boss criticised the financial fair play rules that could land the Loftus Road club with a B£40million fine.

Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey has warned QPR must pay their impending fine for expected losses of B£60million from last term, when they won promotion from the Championship, or be punished in another way, which could include being refused entry to the League.

Rangers have vowed to fight any sanctions, but must submit last year's accounts or pay their fine by December 1.

"There would have to be quite a few kicked out if that were to happen, wouldn't there?" said Redknapp, ahead of QPR's league trip to Old Trafford on Sunday.

"I think it's unrealistic, and I don't see it happening.

"To make it fair play we should be able to spend as much as Man United before we play them on Sunday shouldn't we?

"What is fair play? I don't know.

"One team can spend B£200million on a team, another team might spend B£8million on a team, and that's not fair play is it.

"Fair play would be everybody having a maximum of B£30million a year to spend on their team, produce some kids out of the youth team and work harder with the players they've got.

"To call it fair play, the whole league isn't fair play: you've got seven teams at the top on another planet.

"I don't know what the rules are to be honest, but the owners have brought a few players in.

"We've lost (Loic) Remy but we've spent maybe B£20million above the Remy money, so the owners have been fantastic, the effort to help us compete.

"But it's never going to be a fair playing field, you haven't got to be a genius to know the top seven will almost certainly be the same as last year.

"It can get a bit boring, but it will be the same, I'm pretty sure of that."

Boss Harvey is adamant the Football League has the power to impose sanctions on QPR, despite their summer promotion.

"Theoretically that is the position, but I would hope there would be resolution long before that option even had to be considered," Harvey said at Manchester's Soccerex conference on Tuesday.

"We are satisfied we still have the ability under our regulations to charge them for a breach of our rules whilst they were in membership.

"The one thing for certain is that most clubs [in the Premier League] will become a Football League club again."

Redknapp believes QPR can avoid the situation entirely if they secure their Premier League status this term.

"I've blocked it out of my own mind," he said.

"That's up to the owners, I'm sure they know what they're doing and I'll leave it to them.

"If we can (avoid relegation) yes, but it's a difficult one: if teams invest then get relegated, what do you do?

"You lose all your players.

"If you buy a few players to try to stay up then go down, you can't suddenly have a fire sale, it's tough to unload players on Premier League wages into the Championship.

"It's a chicken and egg situation: do you just come up and go down again, and not spend any money?

"Or do you spend the money, go down again and struggle to release the players, and get punished by the Fair Play rule?

"I don't know, it's a strange one."

Joey Barton will face a late fitness test ahead of the trip after sustaining a hamstring strain.

Redknapp admitted he has a number of players carrying knocks, but does not expect many absentees.

New recruits Sandro and Nico Kranjcar are primed for QPR debuts after joining before the September 1 transfer deadline.

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