Rio Ferdinand backs Jadon Sancho to have big impact for Manchester United ahead of crucial run
Rio Ferdinand believes Jadon Sancho can be “like a new signing” for Manchester United and give the squad a lift heading into a crucial few weeks of the season.
Sancho made his first appearance since October when he came off the bench a week ago against Nottingham Forest as United booked their place in the Carabao Cup final.
At the start of the year, Erik ten Hag said Sancho was not physically or mentally ready to be a part of the first-team squad, having spent the World Cup on an individual training camp in the Netherlands.
The updates have been more positive in recent weeks though and Sancho has now joined up again with his team-mates, making his return to competitive action.
United face Barcelona across two legs in the Europa League play-off round before a Wembley clash against Newcastle at the end of the month, and Ferdinand is confident Sancho will have a part to play.
“Jadon Sancho is back in the squad and if he can get back playing to his best it will be like a new signing for the club,” Ferdinand told William Hill.
“If you get someone like him, with the talent he has, playing to his best, he’s a threat for any team – his ability to cause defenders problems.
“In the short-term it also makes United a lot more competitive in general. The United bench over the last month hasn’t been at its most strongest so having Sancho back gives Erik ten Hag a new option to turn to in the coming weeks.
“He didn’t come on against Crystal Palace on Saturday, but the manager will be turning to him in the coming weeks so he’ll have the opportunities to build up some form.”
Napoli confirm Osimhen interest as Man United sent clear message
Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has made the club’s position on Victor Osimhen clear, telling interested clubs that the striker “is not for sale”.
Osimhen continues to impress in Italy and leads the way in the Serie A scoring charts, with 16 goals in just 17 appearances for his side this season.
It’s helped fire Napoli to the top of the table, 13 points clear of Inter Milan in second, and well on course for a first Serie A title in 33 years. They will also be eying a deep run in Europe, with Eintracht Frankfurt their opponents in the last-16 of the Champions League.
Manchester United confirm stance on Casemiro red card ahead of Leeds clash
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has confirmed the club will not be appealing Casemiro’s red card.
The Brazilian was given his marching orders during Saturday’s win over Crystal Palace for putting his hands around Will Hughes’ neck during a melee between the two teams at Old Trafford.
While ten Hag criticised the decision to dismiss his player, the Dutchman confirmed United will not risk an appeal.
Were the FA to consider the appeal ‘frivolous’ they could extend the ban from three games to four.
Prediction: Man United to win 2-0
Under caretaker charge, Leeds are unlikely to tighten up at the back enough to hold off a flying United side.
Man United to win, 2-0.
Leeds team news: McKennie eying first start
For Leeds, Armas is unlikely to revolutionise the Leeds line-up on his temporary promotion into the dugout but Weston McKennie should make a first start for the club.
Rodrigo Moreno, Adam Forshaw and Stuart Dallas are long-term injury absentees with Robin Koch suspended.
Man United team news: Eriksen, Casemiro and McTominay out
Ten Hag will have to call on his squad. Influential midfielder Casemiro starts a three-game ban in midweek after his red card against Crystal Palace, while all of Christian Eriksen, Anthony Martial and Antony are out.
Diogo Dalot, however, is pushing for a start with Jadon Sancho also nearing a full return from his fitness issues and could start for the first time since October.
Where to watch Manchester United vs Leeds
TV channel and live stream: In the UK, the match will not be televised live on TV or online.
Live blog: You can still follow all the action on matchday via Standard Sport’s live blog!
Good evening and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of Manchester United’s Premier League clash with Leeds tonight.
Kick-off from Old Trafford is at 8pm GMT.