Early team news for United v Chelsea

Tuesday 26 April 2022 10:00

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick might be without four first-team regulars for Thursday night's match against Chelsea.

Scott McTominay returned to the United starting XI for Saturday’s match against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, after he had made the bench for last Tuesday’s visit to Liverpool.

Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo also returned to the matchday squad in London at the weekend and the former-Real Madrid pair - along with McTominay - are expected to be available again.

Despite the return of three first-team players, Rangnick was still without regulars Paul Pogba, Fred, Edinson Cavani and Luke Shaw for the 3-1 defeat to Mikel Arteta’s team.

Pogba was forced off during the early stages of last week’s defeat at Anfield, with it later confirmed that the Frenchman suffered an issue with his calf.

Rangnick suggested that Pogba’s injury would force the midfielder to miss the visit of Chelsea in addition to his absence at the Emirates Stadium.

It remains to be seen if we will be without another midfielder, as Fred continues to try and work his way back from a hip flexor problem that he picked up during United’s 1-0 loss at Goodison Park on 9 April.

Shaw remains absent following a minor knee operation, while Cavani (calf) is also unavailable. Neither are expected to return before May.

Rangnick should provide a further update on the aforementioned players and the rest of his squad in his Wednesday press conference, which you can watch live on MUTV, ManUtd.com and in the United App.


Chelsea have suffered injuries to four regular starters in recent weeks, adding to long-term absentees Callum Hudson-Odoi (Achilles) and Ben Chilwell (knee), who are expected to still be unavailable for several weeks.

Mateo Kovacic (ankle) and Antonio Rudiger (groin) were both missing for Sunday’s 1-0 Premier League win over West Ham, while Andreas Christensen was also unavailable due to stomach cramps, with the Dane having recovered from the injury he sustained against Arsenal last week.

Centre-back duo Rudiger and Christensen could feature at Old Trafford on Thursday. In the aftermath of Sunday's win against West Ham, manager Thomas Tuchel predicted the former to be back in training on Tuesday. Kovacic, though, is unlikely to make the trip to Manchester.

Reece James (hamstring) also missed the victory over West Ham due to a recurrence of an old injury but is expected to return to the Blues’ first-team squad for this match.