Rangnick offers injury update on Jones and Maguire after United beat Villa

Ralf Rangnick provided a fitness update on Phil Jones and Harry Maguire after Manchester United’s 1-0 FA cup win over Aston Villa last night.

The German said Raphael Varane and the returning Victor Lindelof were his only two fit central defenders for the game.

Jones played his first game in just less than two years against Wolves, and he might have hoped to keep his place in the side here but the Englishman has picked up another injury.

Rangnick was optimistic that it would be a short-term issue, and also said that he hopes Maguire will be back for Saturday’s trip to Villa Park.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

“Today, we had two centre-backs available,” said Rangnick at his post-match press conference.

“All the other ones were injured and not yet available. That means, for us, it is very important to have Rapha [Varane] back again.

“Hopefully for the away game at Villa on Saturday, we will also have a few other players available, including Harry [Maguire] as a centre-back. That would give us more options.

“Phil Jones will also hopefully be fit again for the game on Saturday. But today we only had the two of them [Lindelof and Varane] and I was very happy that Rapha is back again.”

Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho were also absent from last night’s game and Rangnick said the pair have minor muscle problems.

Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

It is unfortunate for Jones that he has suffered another setback so soon after coming back, although hopefully it is just a minor issue which will be sorted by Saturday.

It has just stopped him getting momentum and potentially keeping his place in the side after so long on the sidelines.

Rangnick will hope Jones, Maguire, Ronaldo and Sancho can return to boost his options for Saturday’s game, although all three substitutes he brought on last night – Donny van de Beek, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Elanga – each did well and made an impression.

So that trio may come into his thoughts for the weekend’s game after another unconvincing team performance, especially in the second half.

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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.