Man Utd rocked by late David de Gea absence ahead of crunch Tottenham fixture

David De Gea – who has rediscovered his best for Manchester United this season – has come down with an illness in the wake of the top-four clash against Tottenham

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David de Gea has been ruled out of Manchester United’s crunch match against Tottenham on Saturday with Dean Henderson set for a rare start in goal.

The Spanish keeper, who has rediscovered his best form for the Red Devils this season, has come down with an illness in the wake of the top-four clash.

There were reports De Gea was going to be rested against Spurs ahead of the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Atletico Madrid, but that decision was taken out of United’s hands who will now be hoping he can recover in time.

Henderson, who celebrates his 25th birthday today, is expected to take his place as he reported at The Lowry Hotel on Friday night even though the majority of Ralf Rangnick’s squad did not as only Henderson, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and some coaching staff members arrived.

David de Gea arriving at Carrington training ground

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Henderson has not made a single appearance in the Premier League since the final day of last season at Wolves and has only made three appearances this term against West Ham in the League Cup, Young Boys in the Champions League group stage and Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.

Henderson was heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford in January after De Gea displaced the Englishman as United’s No.1 this season with the former Sheffield United loanee unhappy with his drastic reduction in playing time.

De Gea’s absence will come as a huge blow to Rangnick’s men as the Spanish international has routinely bailed them out this season with a number of inspiring performances.

United are in desperate need of three points against Antonio Conte’s side after losing ground in the top four race last weekend with a humiliating derby defeat to rivals Manchester City.

There is little margin error from now until the end of the season with Arsenal a point ahead of United and with three games in hand.

And former United legend Roy Keane reckons the Gunners are now favourites to secure the final Champions League spot.

Dean Henderson is set for a rare start against Tottenham


Manchester United via Getty Images)

He told Sky Sports: “It’s been an amazing turnaround considering where they were at the start of the season, and now they’re probably favourites to finish in the top four.

“We’ve always questioned whether there’s a bit of softness to them but they’re in a good moment and they’ve always had that quality.

“Against Wolves they found a way to win the football match, they kept going and grabbed a late goal, that’s the key to success, you can have your off days but you find a way to win and it was a huge three points for them.”

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