Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has gained his first taste of his new club’s merciless ill-fortune with defensive injuries.
The training ground mishap that ruled out Luke Shaw for a month earlier this week means the Dutchman will face Swansea without a proven Premier League left-back.
Meanwhile, Johnny Evans’ participation is also in doubt for the Old Trafford clash, as is that of Antonio Valencia.
Below, news.bwin.com/en/ run the rule over the likeliest candidates for a starting berth on the west wing of the United rearguard this weekend, with their chances of starting have been priced up by the ever-obliging bwin odds gurus.
Ashley Young 3/20
Having fought his way back in from the icy-cold hinterlands of the edge of the United squad this pre-season Young has clearly impressed his new manager with his capabilities as a wing-back, starting the last four friendlies.
However, with Rafael injured and Valencia hoping to shrug off a knock there’s a chance he might be pressed into action on the right-hand side instead.
Especially as Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, doubty stand-ins in the past, are likely to be needed in their favoured central-defensive roles.
Tyler Blackett 3/1
Van Gaal has given the 20-year-old plenty of action this summer but, although he can slot in at full-back, he has been used exclusively as a centre-half by the Dutchman.
Reece James 6/1
After raising a few eyebrows with his second-half brace from left wing-back in the rout of LA Galaxy, young James looks enticingly priced to get the nod against Swansea.
Not least because in United’s final pre-season tune-up he started in the same band of four as Young, with the former Villa and Watford wide man occupying the right side.