United Team News vs Young Boys: Cavani, Varane, Pogba, Shaw, Armas


Tomorrow sees Manchester United host Young Boys in the final match of the UEFA Champions League group stage. The first place hosts will look to avenge the reverse fixture, a draw that felt like a loss for United, as the Swiss side equalized in the final moments.

They’ll do so with a very weakened side, as Red Devils interim boss Ralf Rangnick has already indicated his plans to rest many of his starters and key players. This is a smart course of action by the caretaker boss, as festive period fixture congestion is upon us, and the workloads will get heavy.

Manchester United vs Young Boys (UCL) FYIs

Kick: 8pm Wed Dec 8, Old Trafford

United Starting XI Prediction: go here

UCL Standing:  Manchester United 10pts, 1st Young Boys 4th, 4 pts

UCL Form Guide: Manchester United WDWWL  Young Boys DLLLW

Google Result Probability:  Manchester United  69%  Draw 18% Young Boys 13%

Additionally, the Reds still have a host of key players who are banged up right now.

Having already won their UCL grouping, United will approach this match in a loose and relaxed state. Rangnick had been hoping to give Phil Jones a (very rare) starting assignment here, but the English central defender is not registered on the European competition list.

“The problem is we can only play players who are in the Champions League list,” Rangnick said.

“For example, Phil Jones, whom I would love to give game time on Wednesday after his long-term injury, unfortunately, he is not on the list, so we have to put our focus on players who will be allowed to play.

Luke Shaw (head), Paul Pogba (thigh), Edinson Cavani (tendon), Raphael Varane (thigh), Anthony Martial (muscle) and Jesse Lingard (muscle) will all miss this one.

Regarding Varane and Cavani, Rangnick said: “They both cannot play tomorrow but they were part of the training session today.

“Edi even yesterday, for Rapha it the first time that he was on the pitch together with the team.

“If everything goes well, I expect both of them back in full training next week.”

The German also confirmed the arrival of former New York Red Bulls Coach Chris Armas to his coaching staff. The MLS and USMNT legend will sign on once his international work visa clears.

Regarding Martial, the interim boss said:

“Anthony trained with us on Saturday in the final training session before the Crystal Palace game. Half an hour after training the doctor and medical department informed me that he had some pain on his knee.

“We had a meeting together with the doctor, medical department and Anthony and we agreed that he should try to recover from that.

“It’s not a fresh injury, it’s symptoms that he had in the past already, so we need to make sure that he is reducing the amount of pain in the next couple of days and hopefully have him back in training again next week.”

Prediction: United 1, Young Boys 0

The Red Devils, as a team, have nothing to play for here, but they have individual players, who don’t often get playing time that are very motivated for their own reasons.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram

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