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Injuries and holidays – the players set to miss United’s Premier League opener

The likes of Nemanja Matic and Antonio Valencia are set to miss Manchester United’s first Premier League match of the season.

Manchester United look set to head into their 2018-19 season opener, the Premier League clash against Leicester on August 10, with a significant number of players unavailable.

Nemanja Matic has been ruled out of the fixture at Old Trafford, with the midfielder on an injury list that also features the likes of Antonio Valencia and new signing Diogo Dalot.

Manager Jose Mourinho has indicated he does not expect some of his stars who have been on post-World Cup breaks to be ready for the game either.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the players likely to be missing against the Foxes.

Nemanja Matic

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Nemanja Matic has left United’s pre-season tour to undergo surgery (Richard Sellers/PA).

Having been part of Serbia’s World Cup campaign that ended with a group-stage exit, Matic joined up with United’s pre-season tour just over a week ago and trained with the squad. But he did not play in a subsequent 1-1 draw with AC Milan in California and, after the 4-1 loss to Liverpool in Michigan, it was revealed he had left to undergo surgery on an abdominal injury, with Mourinho saying he was “out for the start of the season”.

Marcos Rojo

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Marcos Rojo scored the winning goal against Nigeria which took Argentina into the last 16 of the World Cup (Owen Humphreys/PA)

A few days earlier, Mourinho said he did not know whether defender Rojo, who played in three of Argentina’s four World Cup games as they reached the last 16, would be joining up with the squad on tour as he had had “some physical problem” at the tournament and was with the club’s medical department.

Antonio Valencia

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Antonio Valencia limped off during a 0-0 draw with San Jose Earthquakes (Martin Rickett/PA).

The full-back limped off in the seventh minute of United’s second match of the tour, a 0-0 draw with San Jose Earthquakes, with an apparent calf problem and the club say the issue is expected to keep Valencia sidelined for for the start of the campaign.

Diogo Dalot

Mourinho said before United’s tour opener against Club America that Dalot, signed in June from Porto, would be unavailable for the start of the season due to injury and that it was expected the defender would be “ready for September”.

Paul Pogba

Pogba has been on holiday after helping France win the World Cup. The midfielder played in six of Les Bleus’ seven matches in Russia.

Romelu Lukaku

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Romelu Lukaku played six times for Belgium at the World Cup finals (Aaron Chown/PA).

Striker Lukaku was another involved in the tournament up to the final weekend as Belgium came third. His tally at the tournament was also six appearances.

Marouane Fellaini

Lukaku’s Belgium team-mate Fellaini played five times in Russia, starting on three of those occasions.

Jesse Lingard

There were six appearances at the tournament for Lingard as England came fourth.

Ashley Young

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Ashley Young helped England reach the semi-finals in Russia (Owen Humphreys/PA).

The 33-year-old wide man played five times in the Three Lions’ campaign.

Marcus Rashford

Rashford made five substitute appearances and one start for England in Russia. With regard to his post-World Cup break, Mourinho revealed at the weekend the 20-year-old forward, and defender Phil Jones, had decided to “be back a little bit earlier to try and help the team”.

Phil Jones

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Phil Jones (left) played in England’s two games against Belgium at the World Cup (Aaron Chown/PA)

Jones played twice at the tournament, the full duration of England’s losses to Belgium in the group stage and play-off for third place.

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