The Premier League is back, ladies and gentlemen! As it’s Boxing Day, we’ve enjoyed/are still enjoying a slew of fixtures, but for supporters of Manchester United and Nottingham Forest, the return to action will see an additional day of waiting.
Ahead of their league clash on Tuesday, United manager Erik ten Hag provided fitness/status updates on three of his players who participated in the World Cup, all center backs: England’s Harry Maguire, France’s Raphael Varane and Argentina’s Lisandro Martinez.
Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest FYIs
Competition: Boxing Day, Premier League Return
Kickoff: Tue Dec 27, 8pm GMT, Old Trafford, Manchester, UK
United Team News: go here
United Starting XI Prediction: go here
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
‘The feeling is good,” Ten Hag said in an interview with the club’s in house media.
“The players from the World Cup are back, are integrated again and you feel they are excited. (They had) massive impressions there [in Qatar], but now they are back, and you feel their energy. ‘They are looking forward to the restart.”
Maguire has been struggling with illness following his return from the tournament, and he missed out on the Carabao Cup win over Burnley on Wednesday.
However, he did fully train with the squad on Friday. Martinez and Varane, who both participated in the World Cup final, a week from yesterday, returned to their countries for national celebrations of their country’s teams and their accomplishments in Qatar.
Obviously, for Martinez and Argentina, the celebrations were longer and more in-depth.
While all three are now back in the fold, according to Ten Hag himself, it remains to be seen if they’ll feature or not tomorrow.
And if they even do feature, how much of a role they’ll actually play remains to be seen.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.