Early team news for Leeds v United
A long-awaited Premier League trip to Leeds United with our brilliant supporters in tow is next up for Manchester United.
Ralf Rangnick’s Reds travel to Elland Road on Sunday, fresh from gaining a much-needed three points in midweek with a 2-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes were back among the goals for United and a second consecutive win is the target now, in front of what is likely to be a lively atmosphere in Yorkshire as fans attend a top-flight fixture between the clubs for the first time in almost two decades.
Rangnick will hope to have Raphael Varane available, with the Frenchman having missed the Seagulls clash, despite originally being named in the starting XI.
Raphael had been suffering from stomach problems prior to the game and did not feel well, so had to be replaced by Victor Lindelof.
The Reds are also waiting for news on the fitness of Edinson Cavani and Nemanja Matic, who have been absent due to groin and shin problems respectively.
Matic hasn’t featured since the international break, while Cavani’s only football for the Reds this month came in the draw at Burnley, but a return for one or both players would provide a boost ahead of a huge week, with Atletico Madrid lying in wait in the Champions League next Wednesday.
Eric Bailly is on the comeback trail and the Ivory Coast international was pictured in training at Carrington two days ago.
Bailly is recovering from a swollen ankle which has been affecting him since the Elephants’ Africa Cup of Nations exit last month.
Two players who were successfully reintegrated after absences are Fred and Alex Telles, as the Brazilian pair made it through their first appearances after COVID-19 successfully on Tuesday.
LEEDS TEAM NEWS
Marcelo Bielsa’s side have been hard hit by injuries in recent months, with the absence of key players a big reason behind their inconsistent second season back in the top flight.
Captain Liam Cooper and midfielder Kalvin Phillips aren’t expected to return until March, while Patrick Bamford – whose last appearance came during the 2-2 draw at Brentford in early December, when Cooper and Phillips were initially injured – has spent much of the campaign on the sidelines and a fresh foot problem is now keeping 2020/21’s top scorer out.
Stuart Dallas and Leo Hjelde were added to the treatment list during Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Everton, but Junior Firpo could come back into the equation after recovering from a hamstring issue.
Former Red Daniel James has been looking a threat in an attacking role.