Marcus Rashford: Man Utd forward more than doubtful to face Wolves, says Erik ten Hag | Football News

Manchester United could be without leading scorer Marcus Rashford when they look to get their Champions League qualification bid back on track against Wolves at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Back-to-back Premier League defeats for the first time since August have seen fourth-placed United open the door to fifth-placed rivals Liverpool in the race for a top-four finish.

Speaking at his Friday press conference, Ten Hag confirmed United would be boosted by the return of centre-back Raphael Varane, who has missed the last seven matches, but delivered a concerning prognosis on Rashford, the club’s top scorer this season with 29 goals.

“Raphael Varane is back, Marcus Rashford is doubtful,” he said. “He has a problem on his leg, an injury, so he is a big question mark for [Saturday].

Pushed on how confident he was Rashford would feature, Ten Hag continued: “Doubtful, more than doubtful. A big question mark.”

On Varane making his first appearance since United’s 2-2 Europa League quarter-final first-leg draw with Sevilla, Ten Hag said: “We are happy Varane is back. He has the experience, the know-how to win, and he will guide us.”

Raphael Varane sits on the pitch after a setback
Raphael Varane has missed United’s last seven matches

United must win Saturday’s match to keep Liverpool at arm’s length as Jurgen Klopp’s side make a late charge to try to break into the top four.

But despite successive defeats Ten Hag said there was no nervousness within his squad, who have enjoyed a rare full week of preparation for this match amid a packed schedule.

“We are convinced with what we are doing, we have a lot of success, we have won a lot of games,” he said. “The way we work, the way we’re playing, the structures are really clear but we have to execute them and show 100 per cent discipline in rules and principles. When we do that, we are successful.”

On Liverpool’s run, he added: “We know that but it’s not important because we have everything in our hands… As long as we have everything in our hands then we are not dependent on them.”

PL predictions: Man Utd slip to open door to Liverpool

Premier League predictions
Premier League predictions

Sky Sports’ Lewis Jones:

Goals flowed like they have never flowed before last weekend in the Premier League but don’t be lured in by short-termism. This game looks one to oppose goals.

Manchester United are crawling towards their goal of a top-four finish, very much playing in job-done mode rather than the free-flowing football we’re accustomed to seeing at this time of the season. And with United’s recent malaise in front of goal, the case for a low-scoring encounter is an easy one to make with the league’s lowest scorers Wolves in town.

Erik ten Hag’s men have scored just 14 goals in their last 14 matches across all competitions, and eight of their last nine matches in the Premier League have fallen under the 2.5 goals line with just 1.5 total match goals scored per game.

The goal-shy nature of Wolves’ games has also maintained under Julen Lopetegui – in fact, since the start of the 2020/21 season Wolves have averaged less than a goal every game, scoring just 104 goals in 111 Premier League matches.

The market may have got the goal expectancy wrong here, with 5/4 with Sky Bet available on the game falling under the 2.5 goal line. Another United wobble could be on the cards.


Man Utd’s remaining fixtures

May 13: Wolves (H) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 20: Bournemouth (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 25: Chelsea (H) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports

May 28: Fulham (H) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm

June 3: Manchester City (N) – FA Cup final, kick-off 3pm

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