Raphael Varane returns to Man Utd’s starting line-up for the Newcastle match


Raphael Varane has been recalled to Manchester United’s starting line-up for their match with Newcastle at St James’ Park.

The Red Devils have not been in the Premier League in 16 days after watching matches against Brentford and Brighton suspended due to Covid-19 outbursts, but Varane’s absence from the side goes back to the extensive 3-0 victory over Tottenham at the end of October.

In fact, the Frenchman has only made six appearances in the league after his summer move from Real Madrid, and has instead been bothered by a groin injury and later a problem with the hamstring.

But for the trip to the struggling Newcastle, Varane is fit and available to start, where he takes his place in the central defense together with captain Harry Maguire.

Interim manager Ralf Rangnick continues to attack full-backs Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles, while it’s a fresh start in central midfield for Scott McTominay – to the obvious annoyance of a number of United fans on social media.

His usual midfield partner in crime, Fred, also starts, with Rangnick’s narrower attacking midfielders coming in the form of Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood.

Cristiano Ronaldo leads the Red Devils, along with Marcus Rashford – who has retained his place in the starting eleven ahead of the likes of Edinson Cavani, Jadon Sancho and Donny van de Beek.

On United’s bench are also forgotten Phil Jones, who has been absent from the first team picture for the best part of two years, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Nemanja Matic and Anthony Elanga – who signed a new five-year contract at the club on Christmas Eve.

Victor Lindelof misses in the meantime after Rangnick in his interview before the match confirmed a positive Covid-19 result.

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