The very first match of the Premier League regular season, Leicester City at Manchester United, won’t feature several of the two clubs’ biggest stars. Today, Leicester manager Claude Puel said it’s very unlikely that defender Harry Maguire and striker Jamie Vardy face United in the curtain raiser, which kicks off a week from tomorrow.
Maguire, who has been strongly linked with a transfer move to United this summer, featured in all of England’s matches during their World Cup semifinal run. He, as well as his national teammate Vardy, have yet to return to training with the Foxes, as they are currently on post World Cup holiday.
“If we are serious I think they cannot participate in the first game, with just five days training with the team,” Puel told reporters.
‘They normally need more time, but we will see together with calm. We don’t rush these players. It is important after the World Cup to work but also come back with the team and live with the team to find again the atmosphere of the club and the squad.”
“Of course Jamie and Harry are valuable players for us but we need to protect them. If they are available to play in their minds it is a good thing… but we have to take a protective decision from us.”
United will also be without several key players in the regular season opener. Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard and Ashley Young are all yet to return to training.
Romelu Lukaku, Phil Jones and Marcus Rashford cut their vacations short to return to the club, but have yet to see preseason action. United manager Jose Mourinho has previously said that he will not be selecting the players who were away from the club this preseason for the first couple of games, as he doesn’t believe they will be ready in time.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.
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