Thursday, January 20, 2022

Jones set to make first Premier League start in two years for Man Utd, Fernandes benched for Wolves

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 3 Jan 2022

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Phil Jones will make his first Premier League start in two years for Manchester United, while Bruno Fernandes was left on the bench for the visit of Wolves.

Jones last started a top-flight game against Burnley in January 2020 but injury issues with Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly, along with COVID-19 complications for Victor Lindelof, have left United short-handed in defence.

The 712 days between games for Jones is the longest gap any player who has not left the club – including loan spells – has had between appearances for the Red Devils in the competition.

The former Blackburn defender, who missed the entire 2020-21 season, has been an unused substitute in five league games this campaign, though he will join Raphael Varane at the back on Monday.

Further forward, Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood will operate in behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani, meaning Fernandes is left among the substitutes for the clash with Bruno Lage’s side.

The Portugal international was absent from the 3-1 win over Burnley last Thursday due to suspension, after he and compatriot Ronaldo came into criticism from Sky pundit Gary Neville for their body language during a disappointing 1-1 draw at Newcastle.

Fernandes was an integral figure in propelling United to Champions League qualification last campaign as he netted 28 times in all competitions. 

That was the best return by a midfielder for a Premier League club in a single campaign, surpassing Frank Lampard’s 27 for Chelsea in 2009-10, but he has failed to hit those lofty heights this term with five top-flight goals to his name so far.

Wolves make two changes as Francisco Trincao and Nelson Semedo come into the starting line-up, while Adama Traore starts on the bench for the visitors.

TEAMS

Manchester United: David de Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw, Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic, Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho, Edinson Cavani, Cristiano Ronaldo. Subs: Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Diogo Dalot, Dean Henderson, Alex Telles, Donny van de Beek, Anthony Elanga.

Wolves: Jose Sa, Max Kilman, Conor Coady, Romain Saiss, Nelson Semedo, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Marcal, Francisco Trincao, Raul Jimenez, Daniel Podence. Subs: Ki-Jana Hoever, Rayan Ait Nouri, Bruno Jordao, Fabio Silva, John Ruddy, Leander Dendoncker, Adama Traore, Luke Cundle, Hugo Bueno.

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SoccerNews

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