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Marcus Rashford prepares for Europa League action with Manchester United teammates - in pictures

Old Trafford lifted by derby win as they prepare for AZ Alkmaar contest

There is certainly a rosier outlook at Old Trafford following the derby win over Manchester City last weekend.

Manchester United have already qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League and will secure top spot in their group with a draw or better at home to AZ Alkmaar on Thursday.

This game will give manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the opportunity to give game time to some of his younger players, though Marcus Rashford will want to be involved after his goal against Manchester City.

The only bleak spot for Solskjaer is the fact that World Cup winner Paul Pogba is still unavailable for selection.

It has been 14 games since the French midfielder last pulled on a United shirt, but there was optimism recently that he was on the way back soon.

However, Solskjaer pulled back from that yesterday and admitted he was not sure if he would return before the New Year. "No. Too early," said the Norwegian when asked if he would be involved against AZ Alkmaar. "We hope 2019."

With only five games left this year, United might not see Pogba in action again until 2020. By then the transfer window will be open, and there is no guarantee he will play for Manchester United again.

Updated: December 11, 2019 04:39 PM

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