Soccer  

Man United boss Ralf Rangnick hopeful squad is clear of COVID-19

Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has said he is hopeful his squad is clear of COVID-19 after seeing their last two games postponed.

United have not played since their 1-0 win over Norwich on Dec. 11 but the trip to Newcastle United on Sunday is set to go ahead after Rangnick was able to lead training this week with a close to full-strength squad.

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“Today was the third day of training this week — we trained on Tuesday, yesterday and today — and we have 25 players available,” Rangnick told a news conference on Thursday.

“Apart from Paul Pogba, he is the only one missing out, everyone else is on board. The development of the last week is extremely positive.

“We will train tomorrow [Friday] and there will be a day off on Christmas Day and then we have the last training session on Sunday and fly to Newcastle on Sunday evening.”

United’s last scheduled game against Brighton was called off after they were left with just seven available players.

The trip to Newcastle is the start of three games in eight days — a run which also includes home fixtures against Burnley and Wolves — but Rangnick is hopeful he has the resources to cope with the hectic schedule.

“As far as I could see today in training, they’re all in good shape,” he said.

“They did their homework, had their schedule to train at home and they stick to that schedule and that programme.

“I can say most of them, if not all of them might be available but I have to take some difficult decisions about who will be in the squad and the starting XI.”