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Premier League, matchday 19: After two weeks of forced rest, Manchester United return to business in Newcastle

Manchester United are back with their strength. Boxing Day was disrupted by the Covid-19 and several matches of the 19th day of the Premier League have been postponed. The Red Devils, they will face Newcastle, penultimate, this Monday night because they were affected before the others and are now back.

Positive cases had multiplied within the Mancunian club in the middle of December, and the Carrington training center simply had to be closed. The matches of the 17th and 18th league days against Brentford and Brighton had been postponed. Meanwhile, Ralf Rangnick’s men trained individually at their home before returning to the field as a group midway through last week. “They did their homework at home, they followed the schedule, explained the German technician to the press. They look to me in good shape.

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Only Pogba remains unavailable

While the Mancunian coach has temporarily had only eleven players including three goalkeepers, he can now count on 25 elements.Those affected by Covid-19 have recovered and the injured took advantage of this period of rest to recover. Only Paul Pogba, hit in a thigh with the Blues in November, remains unavailable. Raphaël Varane or Edinson Cavani are back like Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Rangnick is now spoiled for choice before composing his group to challenge Newcastle.

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During their period of inactivity, Manchester United slipped from 5th to 7th place in the standings, but also had time to recharge their batteries before a series of close encounters and may well do well thanks to better form. athletic. “We trained hard with intense sessions”, assured goalkeeper David De Gea.

The Rangnick effect is long overdue

Arrived on the Mancunian bench at the beginning of the month to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and after a short interim provided by Michael Carrick, Ralf Rangnick thus benefited from more time to sharpen the knowledge of his group and refine his tactical settings. The former coach of RB Leipzig should again bet on a 4-4-2 with Varane holder in central defense and an attacking duo made up of Mason Greenwood and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Rangnick had won his first two Premier League matches without conceding a goal against Crystal Palace (1-0) and Norwich (0-1), but the content of these services was not convincing. Whoever recently regretted that the English authorities only allow three changes during matches will have a new chance to show his offensive intentions on the lawn of St James’ Park against a poorly classified.

Penultimate with only one small victory on the clock after 18 days, the Magpies remain on three heavy defeats in front of Leicester (4-0), Liverpool (3-1) and Manchester City (0-4). They thus have the worst defense in the championship with no less than 41 goals conceded. This return to competition with a trip to a worse opponent appears affordable and perfect for getting back on the road after a perhaps finally welcome break.

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