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Fellaini fighting to be fit for Man Utd after removing himself from Belgium duty

16:13 GMT+4 22/11/2018
Marouane Fellaini Manchester United 2018-19
The versatile Red Devils star opted not to head away with his country during the international break as he seeks to rediscover full match sharpness

Marouane Fellaini is “working hard to get fit” after removing himself from contention for a Belgium call-up to focus on his game at Manchester United.

The versatile 31-year-old decided not to be involved with his country during the international break as Roberto Martinez’s side played out UEFA Nations League fixtures with Iceland and Switzerland.

Instead, Fellaini chose to take in training sessions with United ahead of their return to domestic action on Saturday against Crystal Palace.

He believes he has benefitted from the break, with full match sharpness still being sought after returning from injury for United in crunch clashes with Juventus and Manchester City at the start of November.

“Yeah, I took it off myself,” Fellaini told MUTV of his decision to snub Belgium duty.

"I worked and did some good recoveries so I’m looking forward to the weekend. I’m working hard to get fit.”

United’s last three fixtures have all taken them away from Old Trafford, but four of their next five games across all competitions are set to be staged on home soil.

That run starts against Palace, with a Champions League clash with Young Boys leading into a trip to Southampton and then clashes with Arsenal and Fulham at the Threatre of Dreams.

“I think it’s good to win games now,” added Fellaini.

“I think we have a lot of games at Old Trafford coming up so it’s good to take points there and see after that. We’ll take it game by game to get the points we need.” 

Fellaini, who will be sporting a new look when he returns to action after shaving off his famous afro to coincide with his 31st birthday, boasts a fine personal record against Palace and is hoping that will continue in his next meeting with the Eagles.

Having netted twice against Roy Hodgson’s side at Old Trafford last season, the Belgian said: “Good memories.

“We controlled the game and did well. We created lots of chances and won 4-0. The confidence was high. 

“Okay, now it’s going to be completely different as every game is difficult and games are harder. I hope we win 4-0 but it will be tough.” 

United head into a meeting with Palace sat eighth in the Premier League table, 12 points adrift of leaders Manchester City and seven behind the top four.