Rangnick's team news for Madrid trip

Tuesday 22 February 2022 13:52

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has provided an update on his plans for the club's first-ever visit to Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

The Reds are in Champions League round-of-16 action against the Rojiblanco and aiming to set things up nicely for the second leg at Old Trafford on 15 March.

After the bruising Roses win over Leeds United on Sunday, the players are preparing for the flight to the Spanish capital and a chance to shine in Europe's premier competition.

The main headline is that Edinson Cavani is unable to make the journey from Manchester Airport on Tuesday afternoon.

The Uruguay international striker has only made one United appearance in the last month, during the 1-1 draw with Burnley at Turf Moor on 8 February.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the boss said: "Edi will not make the trip. He didn't train and hasn't been training for a couple of weeks. He has problems with his groin and, as long as he doesn't feel ready to fully sprint, it doesn't make sense to train him."

Nemanja Matic made his return from an injury lay-off by being on the bench at Elland Road.

Centre-back Phil Jones is now eligible to play in the competition after being added to the Champions League squad.

In terms of other selection issues, Rangnick was understandably keeping his cards close to his chest ahead of the encounter.

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According to Spanish media reports, Diego Simeone has been working hard on trying out his projected line-up in training. The Argentinian is tipped to leave Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez on the bench and opt for Joao Felix and Angel Correa as a mobile front two.

Matheus Cunha, Daniel Wass and the suspended Yannick Carrasco are definitely out, while captain Koke has emerged as a doubt. There are also question marks over Thomas Lemar and second-choice keeper Benjamin Lecomte. France international Lemar will be available if he tests negative for Covid-19 after isolating.

Jose Maria Gimenez is back but Felipe may be preferred in defence.