Louis Van Gaal took his pre-match Manchester United press conference on Friday morning, ahead of the game against Newcastle United on Saturday lunchtime.

The Dutchman spent much of the time fending off questions as to why Pedro had gone to Stamford Bridge rather than Old Trafford.

However, he also spent time outlining his likely team plans for tomorrow.

Fellaini definitely misses due to suspension but it is centre-back that has been a big talking point for the reds.

Midfielder Daley Blind has been playing as an emergency centre-back alongside Chris Smalling and Van Gaal confirmed that this is almost certainly the case against Newcastle.

Louis Van Gaal:

“(Phil) Jones is ill but it is getting better with him and he is already running on the pitch – (Marcos) Rojo needs match fitness.”

Maybe time for Steve McClaren to introduce the physicality and power in the air of Aleksandar Mitrovic tomorrow?

Bastian Schweinsteiger was the stellar signing of the summer for Man Utd and the manager says it is a possibility he could make his first start in the Premier League against NUFC.

“Maybe it shall happen tomorrow – you never know, I think he can still do better because when you are not fit enough then it’s difficult to show your highest level.

“It is a matter of time and we have seen a solution in rotating Michael Carrick with Schweinsteiger.”

“I think that it is a very good solution because we can spare them both for the big moments.”

In the three matches so far, Schweinsteiger has replaced Michael Carrick in each of them, playing the whole of the second half midweek against Club Brugge, as well as the final half hour against both Spurs and Villa.

Manchester United have been left with very little cover on the bench in terms of central defence, how they must look in envy at Newcastle’s numerous centre-backs…