Manchester United will be eager to keep their slim top-four aspirations alive when they host Norwich City on Saturday afternoon at Old Trafford. And Ralf Rangnick has been dealt a blow in terms of team news before his club’s latest match.
Fred is the latest Manchester United player to be sidelined after suffering a hip injury against Everton last weekend. The Brazilian international joins Luke Shaw (leg), Raphael Varane (knock), Scott McTominay (foot), and Edinson Cavani (calf) on the injured list. Mason Greenwood, meanwhile, is still suspended due to off-field concerns.
During his pre-match press conference, Rangnick delivered an update on all of the players who are out due to injuries. Manchester United interim manager Jose Mourinho first acknowledged the absence of five players before disclosing more information about Shaw’s problems.
“Five players will still be absent for tomorrow’s game, and some of them will most likely be absent for the future games as well.” Fred and Scott have already been mentioned. Rapha Varane, Luke Shaw, who had bolts and metal items removed from his leg, and Edinson Cavani are the five players who will be absent.”
“Yeah, it appears that he [Shaw] will be out for at least another four weeks if not five.” As a result, I believe it will be tough for him to be available for one of the outstanding remaining seven games.”
Rangnick also discussed Varane in an exclusive interview with Manchester United’s media, saying, “I think certainly with Raphael Varane, he’s the one who can maybe come back for at least one of the next two games against Liverpool or Arsenal.” I don’t think the others will return within the next few days.”
With Varane still out, Victor Lindelof will continue to partner Harry Maguire at the heart of Manchester United’s defense. Due to Shaw’s ongoing absence, Alex Telles is the only option at left-back. So the only change at the back will be at right-back, where Diogo Dalot will take over for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Rangnick has no choice but to play Nemanja Matic in midfield, given that Fred and McTominay are both out for the foreseeable future. Matic stated this week that he will leave Manchester United in the summer, therefore the game against Norwich will be one of his final appearances for the Red Devils.
Matic will start with Paul Pogba in the double pivot, which means the Frenchman will assume a withdrawn position on the field. As a result, Bruno Fernandes will return to his normal no. 10 role, assisting compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo.
Manchester United’s assault will be led by Cristiano Ronaldo, with Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga operating as wide attackers. With Elanga’s return, Marcus Rashford will be relegated to the bench, with Juan Mata and Jermain Defoe the only backup options in the final third.