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Paul Pogba shares cryptic Instagram message ahead of Manchester United return

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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has shared a cryptic-style Instagram message as he edges closer and closer towards making a return from his injury lay-off.

The Frenchman, who is out-of-contract at Old Trafford at the end of the season, has been sidelined since November after suffering a thigh injury during a France training session.

The midfielder sustained the injury during the November international break and could be heard screaming in pain, before being spotted on crutches later that week, meaning it soon became apparent that he would he would be unavailable for selection for a matter of time.

However, the former Juventus man has been putting the hard yards in at the club’s Carrington training base and is working his way back towards full fitness, although interim manager Ralf Rangnick has recently admitted that he is not quite where United would like him to be just yet.

“He still isn’t fully fit and, from what I’ve heard, it will take another couple of weeks until he’s fit for training again,” Rangnick said. “He has been out [injured] for some time, so it will take another couple of weeks to get him match fit.”

Although his return from injury may not be imminent, he is certainly heading in the right direction and making the progress that both he and United would have hoped for by this stage.

Now, to add further intrigue to his quest to return to full fitness, the midfielder has taken to Instagram to share a message, although it is hard to make concrete sense of what he is referring to.

He has said: “Don’t look at the problem, look at the solution.”

Whether Pogba is relating to his future, his road to recovery or just making an innocent statement about life in general, it is unclear. However, the midfielder’s post is his first in three weeks about himself, with his last being an update on his road to recovery.

Speculation concerning Pogba’s future remains rife, with him not poised to commit his future to UnitedSpeculation concerning Pogba’s future remains rife, with him not poised to commit his future to United. The likes of Juventus, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have all been closely linked with his signature.

He last played for United on October 24, when he was sent-off in the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool at Old Trafford.

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Manchester United

Manchester United injury latest as Ralf Rangnick waits on two players for Aston Villa

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Aston Villa return to action on Monday when they travel to Manchester United for an FA Cup third round clash at Old Trafford.

Both sides are expected to make a raft of changes as the Premier League takes a break after a hectic fixture schedule and coronavirus outbreaks caused havoc over the Christmas period.

The two teams happen to meet the weekend after in the Premier League at Villa Park and there is likely to be one eye on that game too.

Villa could switch things up and give game-time to fringe players like Anwar El Ghazi, Kortney Hause, Jed Steer and Cameron Archer.

United, meanwhile, may make changes but interim manager Ralf Rangnick is under pressure even at this early stage of his career following the 1-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this week.

Rangnick will be keen to avoid another loss at Old Trafford with Villa already notching up a win at United this season.

He could bring back captain Harry Maguire into the starting line-up who, like his centre-back partner Victor Lindelof, missed Wolves.

Maguire missed the game with a chest injury picked up against Burnley last week with Raphael Varane and Phil Jones stepping in because of Lindelof’s absence and Eric Bailly missing out.

Lindelof returned a positive Covid-19 test and Bailly is set to join up with the Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

Rangnick could therefore be without Lindelof, Maguire, Bailly and Paul Pogba, who is out injured with a thigh injury and will miss Villa.

Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay are suspended for the Premier League game meaning they will likely play in the FA Cup clash with Villa.

“Victor was still positive, so it was clear since yesterday morning that he would be out and Harry, he received that knock on his chest or whatever, in the game against Burnley so we thought he would be good again for tonight,” Rangnick said.

“But, yesterday, he was just trying and it was impossible. He even had too much pain when he was just standing around or sitting. It wasn’t possible for him to play.”

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Fred’s strike is United’s Goal of the Month

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Fred has deservedly won Manchester United’s Goal of the Month award for December 2021.

The Brazilian midfielder curled home a delightful effort from the edge of the area, to give the Reds a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, in what was Ralf Rangnick’s first game as interim manager.

Our no.17 hasn’t been the most regular of scorers since signing from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2018, with that strike at the beginning of the month taking him to six in a red shirt, from 140 appearances so far.

As the man himself noted after the game, it was also a rare goal with his weaker foot.

“It’s always good to score in a game, but today we win 1-0 and it’s nice that my goal can be so important,” Fred told MUTV’s Stewart Gardner, in a post-match interview he conducted in English.

“With me being left-footed, sometimes I try with my right. Mason gave me a good ball and, in that moment, I just looked for the goal and it happened. I’m very blessed.”

Fred received 31 per cent of the vote from supporters in our poll, with team-mate Mason Greenwood second on 21 per cent, for his acrobatic effort against Young Boys in the Champions League.

Another long-range strike – Scott McTominay’s opener versus Burnley in last week’s 3-1 win – took third place.

While David De Gea was named Player of the Month once more, following on from Cristiano Ronaldo’s September-October double, we have now had five different winners in the Goal of the Month category for 2021/22.

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Star out – Man Utd’s strongest possible 4-2-2-2 XI vs Burnley

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Manchester United are 7 points behind Arsenal, who currently occupy the last Champions League qualification spot, and the Red Devils do have a couple of games in hand.

Tonight, Ralf Rangnick’s men will collide against Burnley hoping to return to winning ways. Who will come out on top?

As far as the team news is concerned, star playmaker, Bruno Fernandes, is out due to suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the campaign against the Magpies.

To replace the Portuguese international in the lineup, we can expect summer signing Jadon Sancho to return and partner Marcos Rashford in the attacking midfield.

Cavani found the net vs Newcastle United in the last game and the Uruguayan superstar should replace Mason Greenwood to start with Cristiano Ronaldo up front.

The likes of Fred and McTominay should start again in the center of the park. On the other hand, the back-line would likely remain unchanged in front of in form shot stopper, David De Gea.

 

Here is Man Utd’s strongest possible 4-2-2-2 XI vs Burnley:

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