Early team news for United v Burnley

Wednesday 14 December 2022 14:53

There may still be a week to go before Manchester United return to competitive action but fans are already keen to debate who could line up when the Reds entertain Burnley in the Carabao Cup.

The fourth-round tie takes place at Old Trafford on Wednesday 21 December, hot on the heels on Sunday's World Cup final.

Due to the close proximity to the tournament in Qatar, it remains to be seen which Reds will be available for selection in the clash with the top team in the Championship.

With Argentina's Lisandro Martinez and France mainstay Raphael Varane still involved in Qatar, both defenders are highly unlikely to feature. Victor Lindelof played in both friendly matches, against Cadiz and Real Betis, and looks in contention to start, possibly alongside Harry Maguire, depending when the England international is back in the fold.

Fellow Three Lions stars Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford's fitness will also be monitored, while Facundo Pellistri and Christian Eriksen are already at Carrington after exiting from the group stage of the tournament.

Diogo Dalot reportedly sustained an injury with Portugal so we await an update on the right-back, although Aaron Wan-Bissaka and fit-again Brandon Williams got some game-time during the Spanish training camp.

Jadon Sancho may not be ready in time, as he works on his individual fitness programme, after missing the stay in Andalusia.

"I have had several talks with Jadon," manager Erik ten Hag told reporters. "He's on a physical programme and our aim is to get him back as quickly as possible, but I can't give a prognosis of when that will be."

Alejandro Garnacho is a contender for a left-sided slot, as his winning goal at Fulham is still fresh in the mind, while Anthony Martial looks to be in the frame to lead the attack, with Cristiano Ronaldo no longer an option up front, after his departure last month.

An update is awaited on Teden Mengi after he was taken off on a stretcher against Real Betis.

David De Gea is available but Martin Dubravka kept goal in the previous round of the competition, the 4-2 victory over Aston Villa, and also enjoyed more minutes out in Spain.

There were a couple of doubts arising from the Betis friendly, though, with Donny van de Beek withdrawn from the side before kick-off and young defender Teden Mengi taken off on a stretcher.

Axel Tuanzebe continues to work on his fitness as he targets a return to action.

Burnley have another Championship fixture this weekend, at home to Michael Carrick's Middlesbrough, before they can focus on Old Trafford.