Rangnick explains Mata's absence vs Norwich

Ralf Rangnick has gone back to the same team which beat Crystal Palace in his first game as Manchester United manager.

Rangnick made 11 changes in midweek and has made another 11 for the trip to Carrow Road, going back to his first starting XI.

The main selection intrigue is on the bench, where Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata are not fit enough to be included.

Rangnick has put two goalkeepers on there in Dean Henderson and Tom Heaton.

Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images

Rangnick spoke to MUTV before the game, where he was asked why Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata are not even on the bench.

“Two of them are ill and the other one – Aaron – is injured. He got two knocks against Young Boys and he didn’t feel good enough to be part of the team today.”

Speaking more generally about his unchanged team, he said: “That was one of the reasons why we changed the starting 11 against Young Boys.

“We could train the whole week with the other 11 players and we saw no reason to change anything. Norwich did well since the change of manager and this will definitely not be an easy game but we are confidence if we build on the game against Crystal Palace, we can get the three points.”

Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

We knew before the game that Matic was ill but it was not expected that Mata would be absent as well.

Anthony Martial and Raphael Varane remain injured and were not expected to play here, while their fellow Frenchman Paul Pogba is due to meet Rangnick tomorrow.

Edinson Cavani is still not fit to play either, despite returning to training and that means that Rangnick is slightly light on attacking options off the bench.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.