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Manchester United without key defender for City and Chelsea clashes

Manchester United have been handed a massive blow after it was confirmed that central defender Raphael Varane will be out for at least a month after suffering a hamstring injury. The French center-back picked up the injury in the first-half of the Red Devils’ 2-2 draw against Atalanta in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Varane, who arrived from Real Madrid in the summer, was on the way to forming a strong partnership with Harry Maguire at the heart of United’s defense. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also admitted recently that the France international provides a “calming” influence when on the pitch.

The 20-time English champions confirmed on Wednesday his month-long absence following further tests on the injury. Varane will certainly miss the Manchester Derby this weekend, and in what is a another blow, he is also expected to miss the clash against Premier League leaders Chelsea at the end of the month.

“The club confirms that Raphael sustained a hamstring injury, which is expected to keep him out of action for around a month,” United said via a statement Wednesday. “We’d like to wish Raphael all the best as he works on his recovery.”

Varane picked up a groin injury while with France during the last international break and missed United’s 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool before returning to help Solskjaer’s team beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 in north London. The upcoming international break will see him miss just four games in November, which also includes a Champions League clash against Villarreal.

The former Real Madrid center-back is not the only defensive concern for Solskjaer going into the game against Manchester City at the weekend. Victor Lindelof missed the game against Atalanta on Tuesday night after picking up a knock in training and the Norwegian manager will hope the Sweden international can return for the visit of Pep Guardiola’s team.


French defender Raphael Varane led the way for Real Madrid
OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP
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