Sport

See why United may lose to Atletico Madrid

Manchester United are preparing for the first leg of a Champions League last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid.

Ralf Rangnick is likely to provide an update on his squad when he holds his press conference and speaks to club media for an exclusive interview before flying to the Spanish capital. The Reds will travel there in good heart after an exciting 4-2 victory at Leeds United on Sunday.

There are bound to be some bumps and bruises from the Elland Road encounter – Scott McTominay has already showed off his scars on social media – but hopefully there will not be any fresh injury concerns for Rangnick to deal with as United bid to gain a positive result to take back to Manchester. Remember, though, that the away-goals rule is no longer used in the competition.

There should be more options in defence with Eric Bailly back in training after an ankle problem and Phil Jones now eligible for the Champions League after being added to the squad.

Edinson Cavani has been absent of late and it would be a welcome boost if the experienced centre-forward is able to make the plane for Spain. Tom Heaton experienced stomach issues before the Leeds game but his fellow goalkeeper Lee Grant is now available to feature in the competition.

Raphael Varane came on as a late substitute at the weekend after being ill and there are some big decisions to be made with Fred and Anthony Elanga both scoring when coming off the bench, while the likes of Diogo Dalot and Marcus Rashford are also pushing for recalls.

ATLETICO TEAM NEWS

According to Spanish media reports, Diego Simeone has been working hard on trying out his projected line-up in training. The Argentinian is tipped to leave Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez on the bench and opt for Joao Felix and Angel Correa as a mobile front two.

Matheus Cunha, Daniel Wass and the suspended Yannick Carrasco are definitely out, while captain Koke has emerged as a doubt. There are also question marks over Thomas Lemar and second-choice keeper Benjamin Lecomte. France international Lemar will be available if he tests negative for Covid-19 after isolating.

Jose Maria Gimenez is back but Felipe may be preferred in defence.

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