Manchester United do not intend on messing around tonight. The team enter the fourth round FA Cup tie determined to win.
United take on Middlesbrough, a dangerous opposition despite their Championship status.
Sometimes it can actually be more hazardous facing a top-end Championship team in a winning habit than a relegation battling Premier League team down on their luck.
United have a big squad and a few young players have been pictured in training this week, with Alvaro Fernandez, Will Fish and Shola Shoretire seen, while Rangnick also says Hannibal will be considered for selection.
And despite a game upcoming away at Burnley on Tuesday night, among seven this month, Rangnick does not sound like he intends to rotate and play the youngsters.
Rangnick told the club website that United will take the game ‘extremely seriously’. He said: “Since Wilder is the new coach, they have been very successful, also in the Championship, winning a lot of games. They’ve only lost a couple of games since he arrived so I’m fully aware we’ll take the game extremely seriously, like a Premier League game.
“But I am confident if we can play at the level we played against West Ham, we can win the game and progress into the next round.”
Rangnick is being very clear about what he expects from the players, he wants them to produce an intense performance like in the last two league games the team won.
This is a big hint he intends on selecting a full strength XI, or very close to it, based on who is fresh and available.
Our predicted XI sees Paul Pogba come back into the side, with Fred returning back just on Wednesday after international duty.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho are likely to play key roles in attack with Raphael Varane in central defence.
The FA Cup is arguably United’s best chance of silverware this season and United are desperate to avoid this season becoming five years without a trophy.
United last won the cup in 2016, losing the final to Chelsea in 2018. The team reached the semi-final in 2020 and quarter-final last year.
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