Early team news as trio of Manchester United players return to training ahead of Crystal Palace match in the season finale
According to Manchester Evening News, a trio of Manchester United players have returned to training ahead of the final game of the season against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, providing an early injury boost for the team.
The final domestic fixture against the Eagles will determine the club’s position in the Premier League table, as well as their European hopes. Currently sitting in sixth position, the Manchester side is on course to secure UEFA Europa League qualification.
However, a defeat on the final day of the campaign and a win for West Ham United would see the Red Devils drop down to seventh place, which only guarantees UEFA Europa Conference League qualification. Either way, they are sure to play European football next season.
Interim manager Ralf Rangnick will give detailed team news and injury updates when he holds his pre-match press conference later this week. But for now, three United players are said to have returned to training in a boost for the German.
Injury boost for Rangnick
Luke Shaw has resumed training after being ruled out due to an ankle surgery last month. The operation was needed to remove the metal bolts that were inserted in his leg when he suffered the double leg break against PSV Eindhoven in September 2015.
Jadon Sancho could also return to the team after recovering from a case of tonsillitis, which saw him miss games against Chelsea, Brentford, and Brighton & Hove Albion. Marcus Rashford has also resumed training after missing the previous game against Brighton.
Rangnick will be hoping that the trio will be fit enough to play against Palace, after suffering a humiliating 4-0 defeat to the Seagulls in the previous month. The interim manager will need a big result against the London side next weekend in order to bounce back.
Alex Telles has filled in for Shaw until now, with the Englishman only managing 45 minutes for United in the last two-and-a-half months. Meanwhile, Anthony Elanga and Juan Mata have been playing on the flanks as replacements for Sancho and Rashford.
Mata’s presence in the starting lineup has actually forced Bruno Fernandes out to the wing, with the Spaniard operating as a No. 10. Although this experiment resulted in a 3-0 win against Brentford, it failed to produce results against Brighton.
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If the trio is not match-fit by the coming weekend, then Rangnick will barely have any other option but to play the same lineup as he did against the south coast club earlier. It will also be his final game in charge as the manager, so he will hope to sign off with a convincing victory.
For many, this could be the last chance to make an impression on Erik ten Hag before he arrives in the summer. The Dutchman is expected to bring a sea of change at Old Trafford and it remains to be seen who he keeps and who he sells.