Varane, Fred, Fernandes, Shaw, Cavani – Manchester United injury latest ahead of Liverpool fixture


Manchester United are set to be without five players for Tuesday’s trip to Anfield which will only make their match against Liverpool that much tougher.

The task United face when taking on their fierce rivals already seemed insurmountable before the setbacks. Liverpool obliterated United 5-0 at Old Trafford in October and have only gotten better since having not lost in the Premier League since the turn of the year. The Merseyside outfit defeated Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday and now have their sights set on overtaking the Blues in the table, which they will do for a day at least, should they defeat United.

The way United conceded 15 shots to rock bottom Norwich City on Saturday and were fortunate to come away with a win certainly doesn’t bode well when they come up against Jurgen Klopp’s side, but they should have plenty of motivation with a top-four spot still on the line and any result putting a big dent in their foes’ quadruple hopes.

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Yet, Ralf Rangnick will be without five important players for the match with Scott McTominay, Fred, Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw and Edinson Cavani all sidelined. All five also missed Saturday’s win over the Canaries.

Fred continues to be unavailable due to a muscle problem on his hip that saw him withdrawn in the defeat to Everton, while McTominay suffered an injury to the sole of his foot in the draw with Leicester the week prior and is still out. The missing midfield duo poses a particular problem for Rangnick as he will likely have to rely on the slowing Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba, who is not a defensive midfielder, both of whom are set to leave in the summer, against a relentless Liverpool. There is no return date set for either of them.

Neither is there one for Varane, who has missed the last two games with a foot problem. The Frenchman has returned to grass training but only with a fitness coach. United’s heaviest defeats this season, including the one to Liverpool, have all come when Varane wasn’t playing.

“Rapha didn’t train with the team, he was on the pitch with one of our rehab coaches,” Rangnick said. “In regard to injuries, we have the same situation as we had in the last two games.”

Shaw could possibly miss the rest of the season after undergoing an operation to have metal screws removed from his leg which were inserted following his horror injury against PSV in 2015. His and Varane’s absences mean that United’s defence, which conceded twice to Norwich and could have shipped more, will likely remain unchanged.

Finally, Cavani could also not play again this season and as a result for the club again as he is set to leave when his contract expires in the summer. The striker has suffered a calf injury.

The one good piece of news for United is that Bruno Fernandes is set to be available despite being in a car crash on his way to training on Monday morning. No one was seriously hurt in the incident and the Portuguese still trained with the team.

“Yes, he’s training with the team,” Rangnick added. “Obviously the accident happened on the way to Carrington but as far as I know nobody was injured. He trained with the team, he was okay and will be okay for tomorrow.”



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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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