Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has confirmed that he will be without six players for Thursday’s Premier League encounter against Chelsea.
The Red Devils have suffered back-to-back losses against Liverpool and Arsenal, and they now face a tough challenge on their hands against the Blues.
Ahead of the game, there has not been any positive news on the injury front. Fred had been nursing a muscle issue, and Rangnick has confirmed that he is not fully fit.
Meanwhile, Paul Pogba (calf), Luke Shaw (leg surgery), Edinson Cavani (calf) were already ruled out for the game, but have been joined by Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho.
Maguire won’t take any part against the Blues due to a knee injury. Sancho, who has been one of the best performers since the winter break, is unavailable with tonsillitis.
Rangnick told Manutd.com: “Fred is unfortunately not yet available. He tried to train yesterday but after training I had a long conversation with him and he just told me that he doesn’t feel fully fit.”
“And apart from that we have Harry Maguire who is not available. He has some issues with his knee, not a big thing – some niggle in his knee. He hasn’t been training, neither yesterday or today.
“Paul obviously, Fred, Edinson, Luke Shaw and Jadon – Jadon is ill, he has tonsillitis since yesterday, couldn’t train today and will also be not available tomorrow.”
United have had the worst possible preparation for Thursday with Maguire and Sancho sidelined. Both players would have certainly made the starting line-up.
Rangnick may play with a three-man central defence tomorrow to match the Blues’ formation. In the absence of Maguire, Phil Jones or Eric Bailly could start.
Further forward, Rangnick has a big decision to make over Bruno Fernandes, who had a poor outing at Arsenal. He missed a vital penalty and was lucky to avoid a sending off.
If he is dropped, one of Marcus Rashford or Jesse Lingard could partner Anthony Elanga in attack behind Cristiano Ronaldo in what is a must-win encounter for the Red Devils.
United are six points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who have a game in hand. Their Champions League hopes are bleak, and must return to winning ways to give themselves a chance.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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