Team news for Newcastle clash
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has provided an update on his squad ahead of the eagerly awaited return to Premier League action with Newcastle United on Saturday.
Cristiano Ronaldo will definitely make his second debut for the club, the boss confirmed at a press conference on Friday.
Thankfully, there were no injuries for the Reds who have been representing their countries in World Cup qualifiers and friendlies, aside from Jadon Sancho's withdrawal from the England squad.
The winger has been training with his United team-mates since heading back to Manchester and will hope to be fit to be in contention for a place against the Magpies.
"You always cross your fingers that they come back fit," Ole explained to club media. "They’ve all come back with a good mood, they’ve had some good results, there’s been some goals and those who have been here have worked hard, prepared well and of course, it’s an exciting game for everyone.“Jadon has come back in and trained the last couple of days. He's disappointed he couldn't play for England but determined to be fit and he's available. That's a positive.”
Fred could well have been ruled out this weekend, and in the Champions League opener with Young Boys on Tuesday, after Brazil invoked a five-day rule regarding several Premier League players who did not participate in their recent games after call-ups.
The suspensions were being contested and Ole said: "We need to prepare for the game without Fred but, fingers crossed, some sense might come into people’s mind and we can use him." The latest update is that the South American will be eligible to feature.
Alex Telles and Scott McTominay have been pictured by our photographers this week as they look to regain full fitness.
"Alex is not 100 per cent," said the manager. "He's still a few weeks [away]. Scott has recovered very quickly from the operation so, if he's going to play or not, I'm not sure probably not, depending on who we've got available."
Marcus Rashford is also on the comeback trail while Dean Henderson and Phil Jones have been taking part in the sessions following their respective absences.
"Dean has not got the after-effects of the tiredness any more so that's very positive," added Ole.
New signing Ronaldo joined the group on Tuesday, after being released early by Portugal due to a one-match suspension, and there is much hype and anticipation over his potential involvement at Old Trafford.
The manager did confirm he will definitely be on the field at some stage. "He’s been having a good pre-season with Juventus," stated Ole. "He’s played for the national team, he’s had a good week with us here. He’ll definitely be on the pitch at some point, that’s for sure."
Eric Bailly returned from his Ivory Coast commitments to work at Carrington on Wednesday but his international colleague Amad remains sidelined.
Other youngsters Alvaro Fernandez, Hannibal and Joe Hugill have spent time with the senior squad during the international break, and the boss should have a wealth of options open to him when he comes to pick his squad to face the Magpies.
Raphael Varane has still to appear in the red shirt at the Theatre of Dreams but he, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial all seemed to come through their exertions with France unscathed so he could be in line to keep his place at the heart of the defence.
Sancho is also awaiting his first home start while Edinson Cavani came off the bench in the win at Wolves and will also be in the manager's thinking after remaining in Manchester. Jesse Lingard impressed for England in the recent win over Andorra, scoring twice, and will be another hoping for an opportunity.
The rest of the England contingent - Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw - should be available, along with Sweden skipper Victor Lindelof.
NEWCASTLE'S TEAM NEWS
Former Reds skipper Steve Bruce has confirmed Callum Wilson is out with a thigh injury, while Ryan Fraser is also unavailable after picking up an injury while on international duty with Scotland.
Karl Darlow is back in training but fellow keeper Martin Dubravka remains sidelined. Although Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett are missing, Isaac Hayden is closing on full fitness.
Miguel Almiron is in a similar situation to Fred, awaiting to see if he will be granted permission to play after not travelling to South America to represent Paraguay and avoiding the mandatory 10-day quarantine period that would have followed. However, Bruce seemed hopeful the forward will play.