The Red Devils are back in Premier League action this weekend and have a fully fit squad available ahead of Saturday’s tie with Leicester, although Edinson Cavani looks set to be ruled out once again
Manchester United prepare to host Leicester City at Old Trafford on Saturday as they aim to stay in touch with the top four by recording a second consecutive Premier League victory, where a win would see them cut the points gap down to fourth-placed Arsenal to just one.
Ralf Rangnick is fortunate in that he is close to having a full strength side available at his disposal ahead of the tie with the Foxes this weekend, although veteran striker Edinson Cavani is now a major doubt following another injury in midweek.
Here is all you need to know about the current state of play at Old Trafford as well as the potential return date for the Uruguayan forward.
The recent international break has allowed the Red Devils who are not on international duty to rest and recuperate ahead of an upcoming busy fixture schedule for the remainder of the season, while those who have been away with their countries have kept up their match fitness.
But Rangnick received a further setback with Cavani when he was withdrawn from Uruguay’s South American World Cup qualifier against Chile on Wednesday, in which they won 2-0 having already secured their place at Qatar 2022, after picking up another injury.
The 35-year-old lasted just 29 minutes of the contest in Santiago before he was replaced by Luis Suarez, with it believed that he was struggling with a calf problem, having only just recently returned from a thigh issue.
Would Man Utd have a better chance of a top four finish if Cavani had stayed fit all season? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Cavani was making his first start in any competition for both club and country since lining up for Man Utd in their 1-1 draw at Burnley on February 8, while he recently made substitute appearances on his comeback from injury in the games against Tottenham Hotspur and Atletico Madrid on March 12 and 15, respectively.
The former Paris-Saint Germain hitman has featured just 12 times in the league for United this season, in what has been an injury-ravaged campaign for him, and his fresh injury picked up in midweek looks to present further time on the sidelines.
Cavani is now a major doubt to feature in Rangick’s squad for the visit of Brendan Rodgers’ side on Saturday evening, meaning the striking options are limited once again for the hosts as they go in search of a much-needed victory.
The veteran forward has only contributed with two goals this season though, so his goalscoring record isn’t exactly one that United can’t fill, but his experience and extra option up front will still be a big miss.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick ahead of the international break in the 3-2 defeat of Spurs, but Marcus Rashford has failed to hit form this season, while Anthony Elanga and Jadon Sancho have just five goals between them.
Ralf Rangnick is expected to provide an update, however, in Friday’s pre-match press conference ahead of the game with Leicester on Saturday, where more details on the extent of Cavani’s injury will be revealed.
“It’s a sensible decision” – Hull City fan pundit reacts as club make call on 23-year-old
This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Terrace Talk’ series, which provides personal opinions from our FLW Fan Pundits regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Hull City experienced a very up and down 2021/22 season but ultimately managed to maintain their Championship status very comfortably.
The Tigers were probably at their best towards the back end of Grant McCann’s reign at the club, which will make it interesting to monitor how they perform after Shota Arveladze has had a full pre-season and transfer window at MKM Stadium.
If Acun Ilicali’s ambition is matched in the transfer market and on the pitch then a season of progress is to be expected in 2022/23, with a top half finish a realistic goal if they can strengthen the squad.
Hull triggered a one-year extension in Mallik Wilks‘ contract last week, to bolster attacking depth at Arveladze’s disposal.
FLW’s Hull City fan pundit Ant Northgraves mainly agreed with the decision to extend Wilks’ deal due to the 23-year-old’s potential.
Speaking to Football League World, Northgraves said: “The Mallik Wilks one is a bit strange because he was phenomenal last season, scored 22 goals, he’s one of these maverick style players who’s very frustrating because he’s got an abundance of ability and his potential is limitless.
“He’s one of these players who you can tell would eventually become a Premier League standard player, but he doesn’t really seem to apply himself correctly, I think his attitude maybe lacks in some instances.
“A lot of fans probs would’ve been okay to see the back of Wilks this summer, but I think they also wouldn’t have minded if he stays again, because we know how good he can be.
Quiz: Can you name which club Hull City sold these 23 players to from the last decade?
“It’s just maybe going to take the right manager to bring that out, we’re more surprised that he’s staying on because when he came back from injury, Shota Arveladze didn’t really look like he wanted to play him in any way, shape or form.
“Even in the games after safety (was confirmed), he wasn’t really involved.
“It looked like he was a player that he didn’t fancy, but he must have obviously seen the potential that he’s got and hopes that he can bring it out of him next season and with a higher standard of squad, that creates a bit more chances and we can make up for his lack of tracking back and defensive work.
“In terms of it being the right decision, I’d say it’s a sensible decision because if he finds form next season he can become another valuable asset that could be worth money in the future, you wouldn’t really want to see him walk away for free, when you know how good he can be.
“It’s a sensible decision, definitely.”
‘Announcement may be much closer’ – Chelsea player set to ask Blues to let him go this summer
Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso publicly expressed his desire to “play in La Liga” during the last international break.
Over the past few weeks, Barcelona have been named as the main contender to sign the 31-year-old this summer.
The left-back has a year left on his contract at Chelsea. The Catalan club want him so that he can provide cover and competition to Jordi Alba next season.
Sport have a report titled: ‘Marcos Alonso will ask to leave’. Within the report, it’s said the Spain international has ‘decided to leave’ Thomas Tuchel’s side and return to his home country.
The defender will ‘soon ask’ the Chelsea leaders to ‘facilitate his departure and negotiate’ with the La Liga side. The west London club will not let him leave for free and a fee needs to be negotiated.
Alonso’s club teammate, César Azpilicueta, is also wanted by the Blaugrana this summer. A ‘confidential’ report from Sport explains Xavi Hernández’s side have an agreement in place with the duo.
Barcelona are convinced to sign the two Chelsea fullbacks, but it looks like ‘Alonso’s announcement may be much closer than Azpilicueta’s’.
They again stress that Alonso has asked the Blues to let him leave in the summer window.
It’s claimed Chelsea have ‘given him the word’ that they will cooperate for him to change clubs.
Sport add Alonso’s exit can be done for a ‘symbolic figure’ this summer, but the details of what that figure should be are not mentioned in the report.