Why Lindelof missed the Newcastle clash
Victor Lindelof was unavailable for Manchester United's return to Premier League action at Newcastle United after testing positive for COVID-19.
The Sweden captain was withdrawn in our last fixture, the 1-0 win at Norwich City, after experiencing some breathing difficulties but recovered well from the episode.
Our fixtures against Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion were both postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the club but the game at St James' Park goes ahead, with interim manager Ralf Rangnick making only two changes to the XI on duty at Carrow Road.
"We resumed for training last Tuesday and, on Thursday, we had almost the whole team apart from Paul Pogba," Rangnick told Sky Sports. "Unfortunately, Victor Lindelof tested positive yesterday so he cannot play, but the good thing is we have Raphael Varane available again and that's why he's in the starting line-up.
"I would say since last Tuesday, and even more so since last Thursday, we had two or three training sessions on a very high, good level before we had to close down Carrington, as you know, for four days because, before that, we had only eight outfield players. In the last three or four days, we had some good training sessions."
Raphael Varane replaces Lindelof as skipper Harry Maguire's central defensive partner, to make his first appearance since being injured in the 2-2 draw at Atalanta in the Champions League tie in early November.
The other change sees Mason Greenwood introduced for Jadon Sancho, who starts on the bench.