As Manchester United prepare to host Nottingham Forest, in the Premier League’s return to action this festive fixture period, they’ll be without the services of their top choice center back pairing. Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez are out versus the Tricky Trees, due to their participation at the World Cup Final, and not having sufficient time to rest and recover from that.
This World Cup break has seen United, generally, grant each of their players participating in the tournament a week off, so Varane (France) and Martinez (Argentina) are expected to get the same courtesy.
Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest FYIs
Competition: Boxing Day, Premier League Return
Kickoff: Tue Dec 27, 8pm GMT, Old Trafford, Manchester, UK
United Starting XI Prediction: go here
Google Probability: United Win 74% Draw 16% Nottingham Forest Win 10%
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Other than that, all the other World Cup stars are back in the fold. However, Jadon Sancho likely won’t feature on Tuesday, as manager Erik ten Hag won’t provide a timetable for the English international’s comeback. Sancho did not go with the rest of the squad for the warm weather training trip to Spain.
Instead he trained individually in the Netherlands, per the direction of Ten Hag, who says the winger is not mentally ready to play right now.
Following the EFL Cup win last night, Ten Hag was asked if knew when Sancho was coming back, and he resoundingly said no.
Elsewhere the disgraced Mason Greenwood remains indefinitely suspended, with his trial date set about a year from now. And finally, the forgotten Axel Tuanzebe is out all season, with a long-term injury to his back.
Flipping over to Forest, Giulian Biancone (knee), Cheikhou Kouyate (thigh), Moussa NIakhate (thigh). Meanwhile Harry Toffolo (thigh), Neco Williams (head), Omar Richards (lower leg) are all doubts.
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.
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