Manchester United avoided three successive defeats to top six sides in midweek by grabbing a 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea on Thursday, with the Red Devils now focusing on at least securing a Europa League place for next season.
The Red Devils were missing eight players in that stalemate with the Blues, as Ralf Rangnick ’s injury woes continue, but he will hope that no more are added to that list by the time they face Brentford on Monday.
Here is all you need to know about the current state of play at Old Trafford as well as the expected return dates for those who are recovering on the sidelines.
England international Jadon Sancho missed out on Thursday’s draw with Chelsea through illness, despite starting in the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal just five days before, as he became the latest name to be added to the absence list.
Rangnick revealed earlier this week that Sancho is currently struggling with tonsillitis, which had ruled him out of training on Wednesday, and he will remain a doubt ahead of Monday as he faces a race against time to be fit enough to face Brentford.
Speaking on Wednesday, Rangnick said: “He has tonsillitis since yesterday, couldn’t train today, not available tomorrow.”
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Harry Maguire was dropped to the bench for that defeat at Arsenal last weekend, before he was left out of the matchday squad all together for Thursday’s clash with Chelsea after picking up a minor injury which had ruled him out.
The defender has picked up a niggle in his knee, and was most likely left out against the Blues as a precaution. However, it is unclear as to whether the injury will worsen and if he will be fit enough to be included against Brentford on Monday.
Speaking on Wednesday, Rangnick said: “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.”
Aaron Wan-Bissaka was the third player to miss out against Chelsea following the defeat to Arsenal last weekend, in which he was named on the substitutes bench for the 3-1 defeat at the Emirates Stadium.
The right back was unavailable on Thursday after picking up a knock and was a doubt heading into the Old Trafford contest, and was therefore left out, which is expected to be for precautionary reasons more than anything else.
Should the injury not become any more severe, and if Wan-Bissaka recovers in time ahead of Monday’s fixture with Brentford, then it can be expected that the 24-year-old will be back in the squad as Rangnick’s options remain low.
Midfielder Jesse Lingard was also one of four players who featured against Arsenal last weekend that were dropped from the squad for Thursday’s game with Chelsea, yet the 29-year-old is not struggling with an injury.
It was revealed that the England international was missing out in midweek due to unspecified ‘personal reasons’, rather than any form of fresh injury concern, which comes off the back of recent comments on Rangnick giving him the cold shoulder of late.
If the problem is an inside one at the club, then it remains unclear as to whether Lingard will return to the squad for Monday’s visit of Brentford, or even for the remainder of the season, as he looks set to leave in the summer.
Brazilian midfielder Fred has missed Man Utd’s last four games after being withdrawn in the first half of the 1-0 defeat to Everton on April 9, in which he was substituted after 36 minutes due to problems caused by an apparent groin injury.
However, Rangnick has since confirmed that he has been struggling with some muscular problems on his hip flexor and has not been fit enough to train this week, and therefore still remains a doubt ahead of the club’s next fixture on Monday.
Speaking on Wednesday, Rangnick said: “Fred is not available. He tried to train yesterday, had a conversation. Not fully fit, doesn’t make sense with muscular injury to play him early, take risk of reinjury.”
Veteran forward Edinson Cavani is finally set to make a return to Man Utd training on Friday and could potentially even feature again for the Red Devils before the end of the season should he recover in time from his calf injury.
Cavani received yet another setback this season when he was withdrawn from Uruguay’s match against Chile during March’s international break, meaning he has featured just seven times in 2022 for the Red Devils, but he may now be nearing a return to action.
On Wednesday, Rangnick said: “According to the team doctor he will be back in training on Friday. He has been out for quite a while.”
Paul Pogba looks as though he has played his last game for Man Utd after it was revealed that the calf injury he sustained against Liverpool last week is set to keep him out for the rest of the season.
The midfielder had to be withdrawn after just 10 minutes from the Anfield clash on April 19, and the Frenchman has since been assessed and will need at least four weeks to recover, meaning a return before the end of the season is very unlikely.
On April 22, Rangnick said: “The doctor told me that it will take four weeks, minimum, for him to recover and, since the last game is at the end of May, I don’t think it’s very likely that he will be able to play again.”
Left back Luke Shaw continues to be out for up to another month at least with a calf injury, in which he had two metal bolts in his leg removed three weeks ago, meaning that he will once again be out of action on Monday.
After featuring for just 45 minutes of the 1-1 draw against Leicester on April 2, the England international is set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines and there are doubts over whether he will be able to make it back from injury before the end of the season.
Speaking on April 15, Rangnick said: “He will be at least another four or five weeks. It will be difficult for him to be available for the outstanding games.”