Scott McTominay is set to return, but Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane could miss out when Manchester United face Manchester City on Sunday.
Manchester United will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways in the Premier League when they lock horns with local rivals and reigning champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Heading into the game, manager Ralf Rangnick had a couple of positive updates with regard to team news, as he confirmed Edinson Cavani and Scott McTominay were back in training and in contention to feature against Pep Guardiola’s side.
In an interview with the club media, the German said: “Well it’s good to have him [Cavani] back. I don’t think he could play for more than, I don’t know, half an hour. He’s ready for that, for coming on as a sub but I don’t think he can be in contention to start that game.”
However, Manchester Evening News has since reported that Cavani did not join the rest of the squad at the Lowry Hotel on the eve of the game. Along with the Uruguayan, Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw were also absent from the gathering, which raises major question marks over their availability for the trip to the Etihad.
With Varane’s involvement uncertain, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire are expected to partner up at the heart of the Manchester United defence. Aaron Wan-Bissaka should edge Diogo Dalot for the right-back slot due to his defensive nous. With Shaw likely to miss out, Alex Telles is expected to get the nod at left-back. David de Gea will continue in goal.
Moving to the midfield positions, Rangnick hinted that McTominay would start against Manchester City in the interview, saying: “[It’s] Important to have him available. I think he could be in contention for the starting XI but I will decide on that tomorrow [Saturday] after the last training session.”
The Scottish international should occupy the No. 6 role for the Red Devils. Bruno Fernandes is certain to start in one of the remaining two slots in the centre of the park. The final position could be taken up by Fred, who has been in much better nick than Paul Pogba in recent weeks.
With Cavani and Ronaldo doubts for the game, Marcus Rashford becomes the obvious choice to lead the line for Manchester United against Manchester City. He will be supported in the final third by the in-form duo of Anthony Elanga and Jadon Sancho. However, there could be a possibility that Rangnick decides to utilise Pogba on the left.
Manchester United Predicted XI: de Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles, Fernandes, McTominay, Fred, Elanga, Rashford, Sancho.