Manchester United will travel to Elland Road this afternoon, in their first visit to Leeds in the Premier League since fans have been allowed back in the stadiums, with the Roses derby always an eventful occasion for both clubs, and the visiting fans will have something to celebrate ahead of the fixture as Ralf Rangnick has received a triple boost.
The Red Devils manager has given an update on returning players who will be available for selection on Sunday afternoon, with Raphaël Varane, Eric Bailly and Nemanja Matić all fit to be selected for the game against Leeds United.
Rangnick gave an update on Matic in his pre-match press conference:
“We are grateful we have more players available, once again. Nemanja Matic was back training today for the first time and did quite well and might be available for Sunday against Leeds, if not the next two games.”
Bailly returns to full fitness after picking up an injury at AFCON, and Varane has recovered from a bout of illness ahead of the Brighton game at the beginning of the week, both have been in full training and will be available for selection.
Despite the two teams having no league position rivalry currently in the Premier League, Rangnick will be relieved to have experienced players returning to the squad with the game against Leeds likely to be a hostile and physical affair. Despite that, this Manchester side should have enough quality to comfortably beat their injury-ridden opponents.
The German coach will also be relieved with Varane returning to the side just in time for the important Champions League round of 16 clash against Atletico Madrid that Man United face in just a few days, adding in invaluable European pedigree like the four-time Champions League winner, will be a huge boost for the side.
The Red Devils have the opportunity to pull away from West Ham and Arsenal by taking all three points from Elland Road today, which would put them four points clear in fourth as the top four race tightens in the remaining months of the season. Therefore, the idea of the likes of Varane coming back into the team will be a seismic lift to everyone associated with the club.
However, taming Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds side will be no easy feat for Rangnick and his crop of players, as fierce derby games are rarely based on form.
In other news: Ralf must utilise Lingard in top four race