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Manchester United vs Chelsea. Premier League.

Old TraffordAttendance73,564.

Manchester United 1

  • C Ronaldo (62nd minute)

Chelsea 1

  • M Alonso (60th minute)

Man Utd vs Chelsea: Ralf Rangnick dismisses claims he has questioned players' professionalism

Ralf Rangnick says reports he has prepared a dossier on Manchester United's players for incoming manager Erik ten Hag are "completely untrue"; watch Man Utd vs Chelsea on Thursday, live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 7pm; kick-off 7.45pm

Manchester United and Chelsea players celebrating
Image: Manchester United face Chelsea at Old Trafford on Thursday, live on Sky Sports

Ralf Rangnick has dismissed claims he has compiled a dossier on Manchester United's squad for Erik ten Hag in which he questions the players' professionalism as "completely untrue".

Rangnick has been in interim charge at Old Trafford since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in November but will be replaced by Ten Hag, the Ajax manager, in the summer.

He has struggled to turn around United's fortunes, overseeing a Champions League last-16 exit to Atletico Madrid and a run of two wins in eight Premier League games that looks like ending their top-four hopes.

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United's 4-0 hammering at rivals Liverpool earlier this month was a particular low point, with Gary Neville describing the team as a "shambles" and the players' performances as being "as bad as I've seen in my life."

Rangnick is due to take on a consultancy role at Old Trafford this summer, but when asked to comment on the reports he has prepared a file for Ten Hag on the squad he would inherit, the German told Sky Sports: "This is completely false, completely untrue. The board has never asked me to prepare a dossier, neither for the board nor for Erik.

"I also never said anything to nobody criticising the attitude of the players as being unprofessional or selfish. This is not true, I will always protect my players. I have never realised any issues of them being unprofessional or selfish.

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Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick said he will always protect his players after there was a report that he prepared a dossier on the players for the club's board and new manager Erik ten Hag.

"It's obvious that the players are, in moments like this, looking for reasons why the results haven't been as good as they were.

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"I've been talking to the board quite regularly and obviously we were also exchanging our impressions of the current situation. For me it's important, together with Erik, together with the scouting department, we can build a new squad, a new group of players with quality and mentality that Erik, together with his coaching staff, will develop and lead this club into a range where supporters will want to see Manchester United."

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But while reports of a damning dossier may be wide of the mark, Rangnick says he is more than happy to share his thoughts on the United squad with Ten Hag, once the Dutchman has finished the campaign with Ajax.

Asked if he would be keen to hold talks with Ten Hag, Rangnick said: "I'm definitely looking forward to that. I definitely think it would make sense.

"Erik is the manager next season and if he would like to get my opinion or hear something about how I assess the current situation, I'm more than happy to speak with him."

United will look to avoid a third consecutive defeat on Thursday when they welcome Chelsea to Old Trafford - live on Sky Sports - but their troublesome form led Rangnick to admit it "doesn't make sense" to discuss the chances of his injury-hit squad making the Champions League.

United face Chelsea without several first-team players including Harry Maguire, Paul Pogba, Jadon Sancho, Luke Shaw, Edinson Cavani and Fred while Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a doubt, although Rangnick is expecting his available players to show they can beat a top side.

"We have four more games to play, the next two games are at home at Old Trafford and we will try to get as many points and win as many games as we possibly can," said Rangnick at his pre-match press conference.

"In order to do that we need to play on the best level we possibly can. Chelsea is a good team but we know that if we play well it's possible to win the game tomorrow.

"I don't think it makes sense now to still speak and speculate about the Champions League, we need to be realistic. Even if we win all four games it's not in our hands, what is in our hands is how we play, our level of performance. It's important for this season to finish on the best possible note.

Man Utd team news:

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire will miss their Premier League game with Chelsea due to a knee issue while winger Jadon Sancho has also been ruled out with tonsillitis.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka faces a late fitness test with Fred, Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba (all calf) and Luke Shaw (ankle) still out. Cavani, though, is due back in training on Friday.

Youngsters Hannibal Mejbri and Alejandro Garnacho will be in the squad again, while left-back Alvaro Fernandez could also make his matchday squad debut.

"Obviously, if results are not going well and we lost three of the last four games, the morale, energy in the locker room isn't as good as it would be, still we have to perform, this is what we're getting paid for, it's important for the players, knowing the new manager, to show we are able to beat a team like Chelsea, this is our job, this is what everyone has to do and this is what we have been working for."

'Man Utd still an attractive club'

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Ralf Rangnick believes Manchester United is an attractive club even without the prospect of Champions League football

Rangnick believes players will still be interested in signing for United this summer even without the lure of Champions League football.

"Of course, it would be better if we played Champions League next season but this also affects other clubs, it's not only a problem Manchester United has," said Rangnick. "The renewal of the contract of Bruno (Fernandes) shows it's still possible.

"This is an attractive club, with a new manager, new approach, this is still a massively interesting club and I'm looking forward to helping Erik and everyone at the club to get the best and change the whole approach next season so Manchester United can be a top club."

Tuchel: Old Trafford one of biggest stages

Chelsea team news

Antonio Rudiger and Reece James could be in contention for Thursday's Premier League trip to Manchester United after training on Tuesday, while a late decision will be made on the fitness of Andreas Christensen.

Mateo Kovacic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell all remain sidelined by injuries. Ross Barkley is ill.

Despite United's struggles this campaign, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel insists Rangnick's squad is still packed with quality players and is looking forward to Thursday's trip to Manchester.

"I am personally very happy to face them at Old Trafford," Tuchel said. "For me personally it is one of the biggest stages.

"I arrive with a strong club and team, the best way to arrive. This match will always be big for me no matter what position or form they are in.

"That's why we prepare in the best possible way. We don't reflect so much in their situation. We focus on their last matches. We should not get confused by the lack of results. For me, the squad is full of quality."

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights of Chelsea's win against West Ham in the Premier League

'Nobody likes' Rudiger's transfer decision

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Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel says nobody at the club is happy about the fact that defender Antonio Rudiger is to leave the club at the end of the season but they have to get the best out of him in his remaining games

Tuchel says "nobody likes" Antonio Rudiger's decision to leave the club this summer as the defender closes in on a free transfer to Real Madrid.

Rudiger, whose Chelsea deal expires at the end of the season, is close to agreeing a four-year deal with Real and Tuchel revealed at the weekend he had decided to reject a new contract and join a new club.

Asked about the Germany international's decision to leave, Tuchel said: "I don't think anybody likes it. He gives everybody confidence in the dressing room. He is a unique character and plays on an outstanding level. He sometimes takes the focus towards him, he loves responsibility.

"Nobody likes this decision but we have to accept it. Like it or not there will be life at Chelsea after Toni. It is also the most important thing for us that it ends like it started, on the highest level."

How to follow Man Utd vs Chelsea:

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Watch Manchester United vs Chelsea live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 7pm; kick-off 7.45pm. Follow the game in our dedicated live blog, including in-game clips and free match highlights shortly after full time.

Opta stats: Can Chelsea end winless run?

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea's draw with Manchester United in the Premier League in November
  • Manchester United are unbeaten in their last eight home league games against Chelsea (W3 D5), keeping five clean sheets in that run since a 1-0 loss in May 2013.
  • Chelsea are winless in eight Premier League games against Manchester United (D5 L3) - only against Arsenal (19 between 1995 and 2005) and Blackburn Rovers (12 between 1992 and 1998) have they had a longer run without a win in the competition.
  • Manchester United have kept a clean sheet in four of their last five Premier League games against Chelsea, having recorded a shutout in just four of their previous 23 against them.
  • Only Manchester City (39) have won more away points in the Premier League than Chelsea (36) this season, while only Liverpool (40) have scored more goals on the road than the Blues (35). Chelsea have won their last eight away games in all competitions, their longest such run in their history.

Man Utd's remaining fixtures

April 28 - Chelsea (h), live on Sky Sports

May 2 - Brentford (h), live on Sky Sports

May 7 - Brighton (a), live on Sky Sports

May 22 - Crystal Palace (a)

Chelsea's fixture schedule:

April 28 - Man Utd (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 1 - Everton (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 7 - Wolves (h) Premier League

May 11 - Leeds (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 14 - Liverpool (Wembley) FA Cup final

May 19 - Leicester (h) Premier League

May 22 - Watford (h) Premier League

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