Rangnick: Manchester United still on track for top-four finish
Mathematically, Rangnick is not wrong – United are just three points behind Tottenham Hotspur, who currently sit in the coveted fourth spot. But anyone who has watched United play this season knows that the odds of them finishing in the top-four are as low as the chances of Will Smith receiving a Christmas card from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences this year.
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But Rangnick insists that United are still in with a shout for a spot in next year’s Champions League, even though they have to play Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea in their remaining eight league games.
Ahead of their match against relegation-threatened Everton tonight (SGT), Rangnick declared: “We still have a chance to qualify for the Champions League but in order to do that we definitely need to win the game (against Everton).
“If we look at the current situation in the table, we cannot afford to drop points anymore. Everybody in the team is aware of that.
“We are all aware of the importance of the game for both sides, it's highly important for them and us as well. Character, energy, commitment to winning that game in that atmosphere are probably the most important qualities.
“For me, game plan and tactics are one thing, but the most important is mentality, attitude, physicality, this will probably decide the game.”
Rangnick and United, however, can at least count on the returning Cristiano Ronaldo for the clash against the Toffees, with the Portuguese superstar having recovered from the
bout of petulance illness that kept him out of their 1-1 draw with Leicester City last weekend.
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Unfortunately, several other key United players will be out of contention due to injury – in particular, centre-back Raphael Varane has been ruled out of the match, which certainly means yet another start for the walking-disaster-waiting-to-happen Harry Maguire.
“Cristiano is back again. Luke (Shaw) is still injured. We had to take him off at half-time (against Leicester). He's having problems with his leg he had an operation on back in 2015,” Rangnick updated.
“The doctor told me they decided to remove two metal bolts from his legs, this will happen tomorrow. That means he will be out for the next two or three weeks.
“(Edinson) Cavani is still injured. Raphael Varane is still injured and will miss out tomorrow. The same is true with Scott McTominay, I'm afraid, he's having problems with the sole of his foot, so those four players will be missing.”