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Sport Solskjaer hopes Bailly return adds steel to shaky United defence

15:45  25 september  2020
15:45  25 september  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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a group of young men playing a game of football: FILE PHOTO: Carabao Cup Third Round - Luton Town v Manchester United © Reuters/NICK POTTS FILE PHOTO: Carabao Cup Third Round - Luton Town v Manchester United

(Reuters) - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping the return of Eric Bailly will shore up Manchester United's leaky defence after they shipped three goals in their Premier League opener against Crystal Palace.

United's centre-back partnership of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof came under fire following their display against Palace, with the 3-1 defeat highlighting the club's need for a more dynamic presence in the heart of the defence.

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Jose Mourinho talking on a cell phone: FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United © Reuters/XXSTRINGERXX xxxxx FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United

A knee injury limited Bailly to 11 appearances last season but the Ivorian looked assured in United's 3-0 victory against Luton Town in the League Cup on Tuesday.

"Eric is fit again, a big big plus and looking forward to seeing him develop and play more games. We've been waiting him to be fit and play more regularly," Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Saturday's trip to Brighton and Hove Albion.

"I think last season proved to us how we can defend at our best, last week wasn't fantastic, we conceded sloppy goals, but I think our defensive record from last season with Eric and Harry shows how good a partnership they were."

a person with a football ball: FILE PHOTO: FA Cup Semi Final - Manchester United v Chelsea © Reuters/ALASTAIR GRANT FILE PHOTO: FA Cup Semi Final - Manchester United v Chelsea

Saturday's game will be the first of a double header against Brighton, with United set to visit the Amex Stadium for their League Cup fourth-round tie next week.

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"We have to take it one game at a time, the Premier League first and all our focus is on that. We had a bad start last week and we want kick on and play a better game," Solskjaer added.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Changes incoming as Arsenal face Liverpool in EFL Cup .
After Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in the Premier League, attention has quickly turned to their EFL Cup match-up later in the week. For the most part on Tuesday morning (Australian time), Arsenal was second best against perhaps the best team in world football. The first half was nothing short of incredible from Liverpool and Arsenal simply did not deal with it well. The second half, however, was a much different affair as the Gunners held their own against the champions on their home turf.

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