Six players, including Jadon Sancho and Harry Maguire, have been ruled out as Manchester United get set to face Chelsea in the Premier League.

Manchester United will be aiming to avoid a third defeat in a row in the Premier League when they host rivals Chelsea at Old Trafford on Thursday night.

Leading up to the blockbuster clash, Manchester United have been dealt with a couple of fresh injury blows as Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho have been ruled out. The pair join Fred, Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw and Edinson Cavani on the sidelines. In addition to the six players, Aaron Wan-Bissaka remains a doubt for the game against Chelsea.

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Providing an update on the roster issues in his pre-match presser, interim manager Ralf Rangnick said: “Fred is unfortunately not yet available. And apart from that we have Harry Maguire who is not available. He has some issues with his knee, not a big thing – some niggle in his knee. He hasn’t been training, neither yesterday nor today.”

“Paul obviously, Fred, Edinson, Luke Shaw and Jadon – Jadon is ill, he has tonsillitis since yesterday, couldn’t train today and will also be not available tomorrow. We have quite a few players missing tomorrow and one or two still with question marks so we will have to wait and see until tomorrow to see if, for example, Aaron Wan-Bissaka can play,” he added.

Maguire’s absence means that Manchester United are likely to go in with the centre-back pairing of Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof again on Thursday. With Wan-Bissaka’s involvement still a doubt, Diogo Dalot should continue at right-back while Alex Telles is a certain starter on the left. The back-four will shield David de Gea in goal.

With no Pogba or Fred, Rangnick does not have a lot of options in the centre of the park and could again stick with Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes as the midfield trifecta for Manchester United against Chelsea at Old Trafford. They will need to step up after a poor game against Arsenal last week.

Sancho’s unavailability opens the door for Marcus Rashford to make a rare starting appearance on the left flank. The Manchester United academy graduate was poor in his last start against Liverpool and must improve his performances to convince incoming manager Erik ten Hag. Finally, there is no looking past Cristiano Ronaldo and Anthony Elanga in the remaining two attacking slots for Manchester United.

Manchester United Predicted XI: De Gea, Dalot, Varane, Lindelof, Telles, McTominay, Matic, Fernandes, Elanga, Ronaldo, Rashford.

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