'Not available': Ralf Rangnick confirms six Manchester United players definitely won't feature vs Chelsea

Ralf Rangnick has given a worrying update in regards to the wellbeing of his Manchester United squad just over 24 hours before hosting Chelsea.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s showdown at Old Trafford, Rangnick ruled out no fewer than six senior stars.

Manchester United running on empty

On Monday, the Chelsea Chronicle relayed the news from United that Fred, Edinson Cavani, Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba were all doubts for Thursday’s Premier League tie.

Pogba limped off early against Liverpool after sustaining a calf problem.

Cavani picked up an injury whilst away on international duty with Uruguay.

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Shaw is still recovering from minor knee surgery, whilst Fred hasn’t featured since picking up a hip flexor problem away to Everton nearly 20 days ago.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

The Brazilian was the only one of the wounded pack with the faintest chance of being available for the Chelsea contest.

However, Rangnick doused the idea of an early comeback.

“Fred is unfortunately not yet available,” said the German coach.

But the United manager was not done there.

“And apart from that we have Harry Maguire who is not available,” he continued.

“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.

“Paul obviously, Fred, Edinson, Luke Shaw and Jadon (Sancho)– Jadon is ill, he has tonsillitis since yesterday, couldn’t train today and will also be not available tomorrow.”

No Sancho or Maguire

Both Maguire and Sancho’s damages must be pretty fresh, considering they made the trip to Arsenal last Saturday.

Sancho started the game and looked pretty spritely for periods of the 90 minutes.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

His club captain meanwhile remained on the bench.

The English pair were probably in line for prominent roles against Chelsea.

However, they will instead join the rest of their comrades in the treatment room.

This makes United’s task even tougher now they are down to the bare bones.

Rangnick hinted at another runout for 19-year-old Hannibal Mejbri, who was brought on during the 4-0 defeat at Anfield.

“I already played Hannibal at Liverpool so it’s possible (I’ll play youngsters) but we also have to be fair enough to those players.”

Chelsea meanwhile will be lifted by the fact Antonio Rudiger and Reece James returned to training, following their omission against West Ham United on Sunday.

Thomas Tuchel only ruled out Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ben Chilwell and Ross Barkley in his own press conference.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.