Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has opened up ahead of Thursday’s Premier League clash with Chelsea at Old Trafford. The Red Devils go into the game on a low after a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal last time out. And they’ll be hoping to put their rivals to the sword as they push to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Speaking ahead of United’s match with Chelsea, Rangnick has confirmed six players will miss the showdown.
Club captain Harry Maguire is among them, having been benched for the Arsenal defeat.
And Rangnick has confirmed Paul Pogba, Fred, Edinson Cavani, Luke Shaw and Jadon Sancho will also be absent as the end of the campaign edges closer.
That’s a hammer blow to United as they seek a return to winning ways.
And how they fare without the quintet in their squad remains to be seen, having drawn 1-1 in the same fixture at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season.
Sancho has tonsillitis, which is why the former Borussia Dortmund star will be missing.
Maguire is said to have a ‘niggle’, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be a seventh casualty as well with the right-back a doubt.
Cavani is due to resume training on Friday, whereas Fred has told Rangnick he isn’t ready for a return to action just yet.
Youngsters are now virtually certain to make the squad.
Hannibal Mejbri could be one of them having produced an eye-catching display off the bench during last week’s chastening 4-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.
Rangnick has also called on United to do better as the end of the season nears.
Results have gone from bad to worse since the 63-year-old took over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier in the campaign.
It was recently revealed Erik ten Hag would become their next permanent manager when Rangnick’s time as boss ends in the summer.
And Rangnick said: “What is in our own hands is way we play, even for next season it’s important to finish on best possible level.
“They know who the new manager will be, they have to perform.”
On Ten Hag taking over, he added: “I am looking forward to helping Erik [ten Hag] and the club change the whole approach so #MUFC can be a top club.”
Rangnick also seemed to rule out Champions League football next term, adding: “We have four more games to play, the next two games are at home at Old Trafford and we will try to get as many points and win as many games as we possibly can.
“In order to do that we need to play on the best level we possibly can.
“Chelsea is a good team but we know that if we play well it’s possible to win the game tomorrow.
“I don’t think it makes sense now to still speak and speculate about the Champions League, we need to be realistic.
“Even if we win all four games it’s not in our hands, what is in our hands is how we play, our level of performance.
“It’s important for this season to finish on the best possible note.”
United drew 1-1 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season.
Sancho was on target for the Red Devils, who were managed by Michael Carrick that day following Solskjaer’s sacking.
United last beat Chelsea in February 2020.
Goals from Maguire and Bruno Fernandes gave them a 2-0 win in west London after they’d cruised to a 4-0 victory at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season.