Manchester United's hopes of facing Newcastle given boost

Man United’s hopes of facing Newcastle given boost as Cristiano Ronaldo poses as one of TWELVE players back in training – including Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford… just TWO short of the number required to fulfil a Premier League fixture

  • Man United’s hopes of playing Newcastle on Monday evening have been boosted
  • They had two matches suspended following a COVID-19 outbreak within the club
  • Man United were unable to play their games against both Brentford and Brighton
  • But, Cristiano Ronaldo shared a picture of the United players back in training 
  • They need just two more players to be eligible to play their game with Newcastle

Manchester United’s hopes of playing against Newcastle on Monday evening have been boosted after having two matches suspended following a Covid-19 outbreak within the club.

Cristiano Ronaldo took to Instagram to share a picture of himself training alongside 11 of his team-mates at Manchester Untied’s Carrington complex on Tuesday afternoon.

Club captain Harry Maguire and his England team-mate Marcus Rashford were pictured standing alongside the 36-year-old goal machine in the photograph. 

Manchester United’s hopes of playing against Newcastle on Monday evening have been boosted as Ronaldo took to Instagram to share a picture of himself training alongside 11

Interim boss Ralf Rangnick will be keen to get his players back on the pitch against Newcastle 

There were 12 players present within the picture – which is just two short of the Premier League’s eligibility rules. 

Clubs have been told that no postponements will be permitted where 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper from the squad list are available.

If fewer than that are available, ‘appropriately experienced U21s’ must be used to reach that number. Any U21 player who has started a first-team match in the current or preceding season will be eligible.

Ronaldo’s Instagram pictures comes just one day after United re-opened their training ground and the likes of Bruno Fernandes were seen driving in 

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire was also seen driving into their training complex

Therefore, Manchester United could be eligible to play against Newcastle as it appears they are close to or have already hit the required number from the looks of Ronaldo’s Instagram. 

Man United fixtures 

Premier League unless stated

Monday Newcastle United (A)

December 30 Burnley (H)

January 3 Wolves (H)

January 10 Aston Villa (H)

FA Cup third round

January 15 Aston Villa (A)

January 22 West Ham (H)

Among those present in the photo were Brazilians Fred and Alex Telles. Youngsters Anthony Elanga and Amad were also spotted in amongst those training on Tuesday afternoon. 

The picture also showed promising signs for the likes of Luke Shaw, Juan Mata and Victor Lindelof who had been out injured. 

The trio were pictured alongside Ronaldo after working hard on the training pitch ahead of their clash with Newcastle on Monday.  

The picture came just a day after Manchester United reopened their Carrington training ground.  

United were forced to close the complex and cancel their fixtures against Brentford and Brighton due to an outbreak of Covid-19 among their camp. 

However, it was re-opened on Tuesday with Rashford, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Raphael Varane, Mason Greenwood and David De Gea among the players driving in to report for duty. 

Interim manager Ralf Rangnick was also in attendance and The Manchester Evening News reported that Scott McTominay, Jesse Lingard and Mata were present in the first day back at the club. 

United now have two games in hand, but it isn’t entirely clear when these will be rescheduled given their Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League commitments in the new year. 

After the trip to Tyneside, United host Burnley on December 30 and Wolves on January 3.

HOW OMICRON COVID OUTBREAKS HAVE THE PREMIER LEAGUE ON EDGE

Arsenal

Mikel Arteta revealed Arsenal had been forced to close their London Colney training ground after reporting a ‘few cases’ among players and staff following their 2-0 victory over West Ham United. Defender Pablo Mari and midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga were among those to test positive and therefore missed the win at Leeds. 

Aston Villa 

Forced to postpone Premier League clash with Burnley on December 18 just two hours before kick-off after an increased amount of positive Covid-19 test results within their playing squad. 

Brentford

The Bees have 13 cases among players and staff – the club are now calling for a circuit-breaker szhutdown to help clubs recover. Their training ground has been closed and as a result their trip to Southampton on Saturday has been postponed. 

Leicester

Would have been without several players for Tottenham’s visit on Thursday due to Covid before the game was postponed – despite initial calls being rejected – hours before kick-off.  Their training ground was closed on Thursday morning to contain the outbreak but given they have an insufficient number of players available, their weekend trip to Everton is also off.

Manchester United

Case numbers are currently unknown but a large outbreak saw their game with Brentford postponed. Calls to have Saturday’s game with Brighton to be postponed were accepted on Thursday, and it has emerged that United would have had only seven available players for that game such is the impact of the outbreak. Their training complex is closed until Tuesday at least, in order to reduce the risk of transmission.

Brighton

Had a request for Wednesday’s game with Wolves to be postponed rejected by the Premier League following an outbreak at the club. Graham Potter confirmed there were ‘three to four’ positive cases before the game, which they lost 1-0. Saturday’s game with Manchester United has now been postponed.

Norwich

Manager Dean Smith was facing an anxious wait to discover the full extent of the outbreak at the club. Josh Sargent, Lukas Rupp and Pierre Lees-Melou were absent from the squad that faced Aston Villa in midweek for ‘Covid-related’ reasons, but while Christos Tzolis is the only confirmed player to test positive, more positive test results have been returned. The Canaries had discussions with the Premier League over Saturday’s clash with West Ham and it was agreed to postpone as they have an insufficient number of players available. 

Watford

Saw their midweek game with Burnley postponed just hours before kick-off. With their training ground closed, their home match with Crystal Palace has now been confirmed as postponed too. Case numbers are currently unknown but they do not sufficient players to fulfil the Palace match.

Tottenham

Spurs were the first Premier League club to be hit by the Omicron variant last week and saw games against Brighton and Rennes postponed after cases reached double digits among players and staff. Those who tested positive for the virus are expected to return in the next couple of days after completing their 10-day self-isolation period. Spurs’ clash with Leicester on Thursday was postponed despite initial demands to have the game called off were rejected, but Sunday’s clash with Liverpool is due to go ahead.

Chelsea

After Brentford, the Blues became the latest club to be hit by a Covid outbreak, after it was confirmed ahead of their game with Everton that four more first-team players had tested positive. Mateo Kovacic was the first Chelsea player to get the virus in the outbreak this week, with Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell following. Neverthless, their game with Everton went ahead and was drawn. Despite recording seven positive Covid cases, the Blues saw a request for their trip to Wolves rejected and Tuchel fumed at the decision to allow the game – which ended 0-0 – to go ahead on Sunday.

Liverpool

It was confirmed just an hour before kick-off against Newcastle on Thursday night that Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Virgil van Dijk were all out having tested positive for Covid. Midfielder Thiago also tested positive for Covid before Sunday’s trip to Spurs and Jurgen Klopp said it is ‘not possible’ for the Reds to continue playing if more players fall ill. 




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