Ralf Rangnick reveals Manchester United team news vs Middlesbrough

Ralf Rangnick reveals Manchester United team news vs Middlesbrough

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has named the number of players who are in contention to start to feature against Middlesbrough.

Man United will play visitors to the Championship side on Friday in the FA Cup fourth round and according to Rangnick, the likes of Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw could start for the Reds.

Shaw played 90 minutes as Manchester United beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Old Trafford in the FA Cup third round on January 10.

Since then, the England international hasn’t featured for the Red Devils. In his absence, Man United had played a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa, a 3-1 win over Brentford, and a tight 1-0 win against West Ham United, all in the Premier League.

Paul Pogba suffered a thigh injury while on international duty with France in November and his last appearance for Manchester United was against Atalanta in Italy in the Champions League.

Both first-team players are set to feature against Middlesbrough on Friday, with Rangnick confirming that Shaw will ‘probably’ start while Pogba may start off the bench.

“Luke [Shaw] will be back [for the game vs Middlesbrough] and will probably play from the beginning,” said Rangnick.

“Paul [Pogba] will be part of the group [against Middlesbrough]. He might even be in the starting XI.”

Ralf Rangnick confirms Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw will feature in Manchester United's tie vs Middlesbrough
Ralf Rangnick confirms Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw will feature in Manchester United’s tie vs Middlesbrough

It will be a tight game against Middlesbrough, given the number of players they leave at the back.

Rangnick believes his fullbacks will have to do more than usual if they are going to break down the hosts.

“They [his full-backs] have to be defenders and at the same time give as much input as they possibly can if we’re in possession of the ball,” said the German boss.

“They should be offensive full-backs and I think in the last couple of weeks we have improved in those areas.

“It [Manchester United fullbacks] will be an important position tomorrow because Middlesbrough will play with a back five, with very offensive wing-backs, so it will very important that we play tactically on a high level with regard to our own full-backs.

“This is what I want to see, offensive full-backs playing almost like wingers do and at the same be modern defenders winning one-on-one duels and switching sides from one side to another when we have to mark through. This is what we want to see.”

Also, Manchester United will be without the likes of Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani, and Eric Bailly in their squad against Middlesbrough.

Bailly returned back to Old Trafford on Wednesday, claims Ralf Rangnick. Lingard and Cavani requested to get some days off. The former wants to recover from a failed exit in January while the latter wants to spend some time with his family after impressing in Uruguay’s win over Venezuela in the World Cup Qualifiers.