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Manchester United to assess risk of starting Raphael Varane vs Chelsea

Raphael Varane is hopeful of being passed fit for Manchester United’s Premier League match away to Chelsea on Thursday night.

Varane was substituted at half-time in the 1-1 draw with Brentford on Saturday as a precaution after tackling Ivan Toney and he told the Manchester Evening News as he left the stadium his injury was “not too bad”.

The 31-year-old was not visible in imagery released by United from their training session on Tuesday but Varane is understood to be optimistic of recovering due to the five-day gap between games.

United will have to manage the risk with Varane as Liverpool are due at Old Trafford on Sunday. Varane has struggled to play two games per week this season and revealed in an interview with L'Equipe he has "damaged" his body.

Varane’s possible availability would be a much-needed boost for United after fellow centre backs Lisandro Martinez (calf) and Victor Lindelof (hamstring) were ruled out for a month.

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Martinez sustained his muscular injury in training on Tuesday, having replaced the injured Lindelof in the second half at Brentford.

The potential selection of Varane would be scrutinised after Martinez’s setback three days after his first appearance in almost eight weeks. United will assess the risk element of starting Varane.

Harry Maguire came on for Varane at the weekend, having missed England’s 2-2 friendly draw with Belgium four days earlier with an unspecified injury.

Jonny Evans has missed United’s last two games with a knock. Rookie Willy Kambwala is expected to be in the squad against Chelsea.