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Defensive boost for struggling Man United on injury front

Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans look set to bolster Manchester United's beleaguered backline at Chelsea as Erik ten Hag's side continue to search for answers to their ongoing injury problems.

The Red Devils have been besieged by issues during a difficult second season for the Dutchman, with the side struggling in the Premier League and dumped out of Europe before Christmas.

United face an uphill battle to qualify for next year's Champions League and produced one of their worst displays on Saturday at Brentford, where Victor Lindelof became the latest player to pick up a muscle injury.

The Sweden international's hamstring issue in the 1-1 draw is set to keep him out for at least a month, with his replacement Lisandro Martinez facing a similar absence after sustaining a calf complaint in training.

Those issues compound the absence of fellow defenders Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia, but Ten Hag is hopeful that Varane - who went off at half-time on Saturday - and recently injured Evans will be fit to face Chelsea.

"No more issues - we don't need (anymore)!" the United manager said ahead of Thursday's match. "On the frontline and in midfield we are OK, we have options there.

"But in the backline we have a lack of options, but the good thing is back in training this afternoon is Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans. And Harry Maguire was already yesterday back in training."

Lindelof and Martinez's setbacks raise further questions about the spate of muscle injuries United have been dealing with this term.

Asked if they are any closer to knowing why they are getting so many issues, Ten Hag said: "Yeah, we have an idea but we will work on that. I think internally we will deal with it."

Ten Hag rejected the chance to expand on what that "idea" was

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