Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has confirmed four players are expected to miss the FA Cup fourth-round tie against Middlesbrough on Friday night.
The Red Devils went into the winter break on the back of successive Premier League wins, and the onus will be on continuing the good run of form against Boro.
Ahead of the game, Rangnick provided team news where he confirmed that Edinson Cavani, Eric Bailly, Jesse Lingard and Victor Lindelof won’t play any part tomorrow.
Cavani has yet to return from international duty. He is only due to report at the weekend. Rangnick revealed the Uruguayan has been offered extra time away amid jet lag.
The same is the case with Lingard, who is still coming to terms after being denied a deadline day exit. Meanwhile, Lindelof is out with an illness while Bailly is carrying an ankle injury.
Rangnick told reporters via Manutd.com: “Edi Cavani will only return on the weekend. Victor Lindelof has been ill the whole week and is not training. So he will also miss tomorrow’s game.”
“The same is true with Jesse [Lingard] – he asked me and the club if we could give him a couple of days off, just to clear up his mind.
“Eric Bailly came back yesterday. He has some problems, a swollen ankle, and will therefore not be a part of the squad tomorrow.”
While United are missing some key players, they have received a timely injury boost with Paul Pogba now available for selection.
The Frenchman has been sidelined since early November with a thigh issue, but has returned to full training over the past few weeks.
Rangnick has acknowledged that he could make the starting XI tomorrow, and the midfielder should feel like a new signing for the club.
Pogba started the campaign in spectacular fashion with seven assists in the space of four league games before his form tailed off drastically.
He was sent off in the 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool in late October but could not make amends as he got injured shortly after.
There is uncertainty over his future with his contract expiring this summer, but Rangnick has spoken glowingly over his involvement in training.
He won’t be sidelined due to his contract situation, and only time will tell whether he will commit his future to the Mancunian giants.
Rangnick could name a strong line-up against Boro tomorrow. The FA Cup is the club’s best chance to win silverware to end a five-year trophy drought.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.
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