Manchester Evening News

Reds hold secret clash to prepare for FA Cup

- By SAMUEL LUCKHURST

UNITED played a behind-closeddoor­s match against Burnley this week as they prepare to resume their season in the FA Cup on Sunday.

The game is believed to have taken place on Wednesday afternoon for players who are returning from injury or have had little playing time this season. Burnley won 3-1.

United players recently available for selection reported for training at 9am on Wednesday while another batch of players reported in the afternoon.

Tom Heaton, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Jonny Evans, Raphael Varane, Diogo Dalot, Scott McTominay, Kobbie Mainoo, Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes, Alejandro Garnacho, Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund were among the players who arrived to train at Carrington on Wednesday morning.

Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Casemiro, Altay Bayindir and Facundo Pellistri were among the players who were not spotted among the morning arrivals. The game was viewed as an ideal opportunit­y for Bayindir, who is yet to make his debut.

Shaw has been sidelined for a month with an unspecifie­d injury, Martinez returned from a fourmonth absence in the draw with Tottenham earlier this month, Casemiro last played on November 1 due to a hamstring problem and Harry Maguire has missed the last six weeks with a groin injury.

Bayindir is expected to make his United bow away at Newport County in the FA Cup fourth round and Pellistri could leave on loan before next Thursday’s transfer deadline.

United are almost always tight-lipped on details regarding behind-closed-doors friendlies but made an exception when it emerged they had lost 3-0 to Burnley in August.

Altay Bayindir

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