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Shaw struggling to be fit for FA Cup final after injury setback

SoccerNews in FA Cup 17 May 2024

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Manchester United defender Luke Shaw is fighting against the odds to be passed fit for the crucial FA Cup final against rivals Manchester City.

Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag revealed the left-back’s injury has proven more complicated than first thought and added his chances of making the game are low, but has not definitively ruled out the England international.

He is more optimistic about Harry Maguire, though even the centre-back was only rated as having a “fair chance” of being passed fit to face Pep Guardiola’s men at Wembley on May 25.

Before that, United will finish their Premier League campaign with a match away to Brighton on Sunday.

Despite a desperately disappointing campaign, there are still two potential routes for United to make it into Europe for next season.

Ten Hag’s side are eighth in the table, level on 57 points with seventh-placed Newcastle United, who visit Brentford on the final day.

If United beat FA Cup holders City, they will play in the Europa League next season.

Failure to do so would mean they must have finished seventh in the league to secure a spot in the Europa Conference League, so they will need to better Newcastle’s result on the final day.

Shaw has been restricted to playing in 15 games for United across all competitions this season. He was expected to return before the end of the campaign when he suffered a muscle problem in the away win over Luton Town in February.

Ten Hag was asked about Shaw and Maguire ahead of the last two games of United’s season, a fitness update which has added importance due to their likely inclusion, if fit, in England’s squad for Euro 2024 this summer.

“For England, I can’t say, it’s not up to me,” Ten Hag said. “But for the cup final, we’re working on it.

“Harry Maguire, it’s a fair chance that he will be available.

“Luke is more complicated, in this moment, let’s say it’s a low chance that he will make it. But there is still a very small, reduced chance.”

As well as giving Maguire a chance of making the final, Ten Hag also confirmed fellow defenders Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof have returned to training in a boost ahead of the Man City clash.

Varane is leaving Man Utd at the end of the season, with a number of other players expected to follow him out the exit door, but Ten Hag wants his squad fully focused amid frenzied speculation over transfer activity.

“All the issues will only distract us,” he said.

“We know what we are building on, and we have to keep this process going.”

Shaw, 28, played in last season’s FA Cup final defeat to City and has also been a runner-up at the Euros, having scored in England’s eventual defeat on penalties to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

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