Ralf Rangnick issues fitness update ahead of United's clash with Chelsea

Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has conducted his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Chelsea, and it was streamed at 1.45pm on the club’s website.

United lost against Arsenal last time out and that result seemingly all but ends their hopes of qualification for next season’s Champions League.

Rangnick has offered a fitness update on his squad ahead of the game and it appears that United have even more injury worries now.

Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho were both in the squad at the Emirates Stadium but are unavailable for the clash at Old Trafford, according to the German.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

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“Fred is unfortunately not yet available. He tried to train yesterday but after training I had a long conversation with him and he just told me that he doesn’t feel fully fit, he’s not at 100 per cent.

“With a player like Fred who’s always committed to give his very best, I don’t think it makes sense, with the muscular injury that he had, to play him too early, because that would mean we take the risk of a re-injury and this is something that I don’t want to do. So he won’t be available unfortunately tomorrow.

“And apart from that we have Harry Maguire who is not available. He has some issues with his knee, not a big thing – some niggle in his knee. He hasn’t been training, neither yesterday or today.

“Paul obviously, Fred, Edinson, Luke Shaw and Jadon – Jadon is ill, he has tonsillitis since yesterday, couldn’t train today and will also be not available tomorrow.”

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Rangnick was asked if these further absentees means he will play some younger players and said: “Well, it’s possible. We will have to wait and see until tomorrow to see if, for example, Aaron Wan-Bissaka can play.

“I already played Hannibal at Liverpool so it’s possible [I’ll play youngsters] but we also have to be fair enough to those players.

“It has to be the right moment, they should have a chance to play well and perform well so it’s not just pushing them into a game. I think it should also be the right moment.”

Rangnick has already spoken publicly about his concern over United’s players getting so many injuries when they are only playing once per week, while the likes of Liverpool can compete on all fronts with less problems.

That is another thing for new manager Erik ten Hag to sort out, and it remains to be seen what team Rangnick puts out tomorrow.

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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.