Ole Gunnar Solskjaer chose not to risk Eric Bailly for Manchester United’s FA Cup tie with Liverpool as the Ivorian had a “little” injury concern.
Bailly, 26, missed much of the first half of the season with a muscle injury but he has enjoyed an extended run in the starting XI in recent weeks.
The defender started five of United’s last six Premier League games as Harry Maguire’s defensive partner while Victor Lindelof struggled with a back injury.
But Bailly was notably missing from the squad which went on to beat Liverpool 3-2 and progress to the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday.
Solskjaer confirmed he had suffered a minor knock and expects him to return to contention for the Premier League clash with a struggling Sheffield United side on Wednesday.
“Eric will be available [to face Sheffield United],” the Red Devils boss told reporters after the win over Liverpool. “It was just a little thing that I didn’t want to risk him today.
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“We had cover on the bench and Victor was ready so there was no point on taking a risk with Eric.
“He’s fine, there’s no problem. I can’t say if he’s playing or not, but he’s fit and available for selection for Wednesday.”
With Bailly missing, United looked shaky in the early stages against Liverpool and fell behind to Mohamed Salah’s dinked 18th-minute opener.
Mason Greenwood latched onto Marcus Rashford’s sublime through-ball to equalise, before the latter put the Red Devils ahead early in the second half.
Salah popped up in the box to level the scores just before the hour mark, but Bruno Fernandes restored United’s lead after coming off the bench.
The Portuguese midfielder buried a free kick in the bottom corner to win the tie and set up a fifth-round encounter with West Ham in February.
Who should start alongside Harry Maguire out of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof? Have your say in the comments.
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