Rangnick issues United squad update
Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has provided a team news update as the Reds prepare for what will be our first game in over a fortnight.
The Reds face Newcastle United away on Monday 27 December, after our previous two Premier League matches against Brentford and Brighton were postponed due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Carrington was closed for a number of days as a result, although the players have made a staggered return to training this week.
Rangnick revealed that, after having only 11 players available seven days ago, he now has virtually a full complement to choose from.
Paul Pogba, who is still recovering from an injury picked up while on international duty with France in November, is the only Red still absent, according to the German.
“Yes, as you know, we had last week, the last training session on Thursday, on that day we had eight outfield players and three goalkeepers and then we closed down the training ground for four days in order to break the chain,” Ralf told reporters at his pre-match press conference.
“Today was the third day of training this week, we started on Tuesday, we trained yesterday and today.
“Today we had 25 outfield players. Paul Pogba is the only one missing, everyone else was on board. The development in the last week was extremely positive.”
That could mean that Raphael Varane and Edinson Cavani are once again able to play.
The pair have been missing with hamstring and tendon problems respectively since the 2-2 draw with Atalanta on 2 November, but were close to a return prior to the victory over Norwich two weeks ago.
Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who also missed the trip to Carrow Road through injury, could also be back as Rangnick revealed most of his squad should be match fit despite the recent disruption.
“Well as far as I could see in training today, they are all in good shape,” he added.
“They did their homework, they all have their schedules to train at home and they stuck to that schedule and programme.
“From what I saw, I can say most of them, if not all of them, might be available, and of course I would have to take some difficult decisions as to who will be in the squad, who will be in the starting XI.”
NEWCASTLE TEAM NEWS
Magpies defender Federico Fernandez ‘will miss the entire Christmas period and probably most of January’ with a thigh injury, according to manager Eddie Howe, while Jamal Lewis (hamstring) has also been ruled out until the new year.
Newcastle's ranks will be boosted by the return of Javier Manquillo and Emil Krafth from illness, although Isaac Hayden is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season during Sunday’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester City.
Jonjo Shelvey missed that clash and hasn’t yet trained with the rest of the Newcastle squad, while Paul Dummett is still out for a while.