Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has confirmed that he will be without three players for Saturday’s early Premier League kick-off against Southampton.
The Red Devils have been hugely disappointing since the winter break. They suffered a shock FA Cup fourth round exit to Middlesbrough on penalties last weekend.
This was followed by a frustrating 1-1 league draw at Burnley. In both games, they dominated the opening stages only to lose momentum at the midway point.
Rangnick will be hoping that his team can return to winning ways tomorrow, but he will be without three players in the form of Eric Bailly, Nemanja Matic and Fred.
He told Manutd.com: “The three players who will not be available tomorrow are still Eric Bailly, Fred, obviously because he was still testing positive, and Nemanja Matic. He has some problems with his shin.”
Bailly returned from Ivory Coast duty with a swollen ankle. He missed the recent Turf Moor trip alongside Fred, who had tested positive for coronavirus.
Matic has now joined the sidelines with a shin injury. This leaves Rangnick with a straightforward choice of picking Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in midfield.
Pogba only recently returned after a lengthy thigh injury but looks set to start his third game in just nine days. Meanwhile, United have received a fitness boost for Saturday.
Alex Telles has been training following his bout of coronavirus. Rangnick is likely to make a late decision whether he will get the nod over Luke Shaw in the left-back role.
United are currently sixth in the league with 39 points, one behind fourth-placed West Ham United with a game in hand. However, their rivals are better placed than them in the Champions League push.
Arsenal are on the same number of points (39) with a game in hand, while Tottenham Hotspur are three adrift with a couple of extra matches to play. On that basis, the Red Devils can ill afford to drop points against the Saints tomorrow.
It promises to be another tricky challenge with the Saints coming off a stunning 3-2 comeback win at Spurs.
United have kept one clean sheet in the last seven league games. Their defensive resolve is bound to be tested again.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.
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