Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag handed major injury boost ahead of Sheriff
Erik ten Hag previews FC Sheriff clash
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With Raphael Varane set to be out until after the World Cup, news of Harry Maguire returning from injury represents a major boost for Manchester United. The England international hasn’t featured for the Red Devils since their 2-0 win over Sheriff back on September 15. And with the 29-year-old now back in contention, it couldn’t have come at a better time…
Manchester United will go into tonight’s match with Sheriff looking to boost their chances of topping the ground.
The Red Devils have won three of their Europa League games so far, with a 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad on the same night of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II the only blotch on their record.
United have started to improve of late, with the team producing impressive performances in recent Premier League clashes against the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea.
They drew 1-1 with the Blues at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening, with Varane forced out of the game through injury.
Erik ten Hag has since confirmed the 2018 World Cup winner will be missing for the foreseeable future, saying: “Rapha Varane isn’t in the squad, so he will be out, certainly until the World Cup, so will not play in this block for Man United.
“I think so (he will be fit for the World Cup), but the prognosis, we have to wait and see how it develops, how his rehab develops.”
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At a time when Varane is out through injury, the imminent return of Maguire gives United a boost.
Ten Hag confirmed he was back in training following a hamstring injury and backed the 29-year-old, whose stock has fallen in recent times.
“He (Maguire) always has an important role, he was injured, happy in his own way back and now he has to get back into games,” he said.
“I understand the interest (in Maguire) but we especially look at Man United, we have to get the right results and performances, that’s the main objective I have to look at.
“It’s always about performance, about presentation and I think, regarding his qualities, when he’s acting like that, no problem, great player and great capabilities to do a job for us.”
Maguire endured a tough start to the season for United.
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He was abysmal as the club shipped six Premier League goals in early defeats to Brighton and Brentford, at Old Trafford and the Gtech Community Stadium respectively.
But Maguire being back in the fold is good news for United.
They’ve been so reliant on Lisandro Martinez this term, with the Argentina international going from strength to strength following his summer arrival from Ajax.
Yet Maguire will give United another option in defence, while it will allow Ten Hag to grant Martinez and Victor Lindelof a rest if needed.
The former Leicester star, on his day, is one of the best centre-backs on the planet.
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Though he’s suffered over the past 12 months, under the likes of Ten Hag, Ralf Rangnick and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it’s still far too early to write him off as a flop.
Maguire was good during his first two years at United. They often missed him when he was sidelined, particularly towards the end of the 2020/2021 season.
And as the matches start to come quicker and quicker, Ten Hag will be hoping his skipper can discover the form of old and stake his claim for a starting berth.
Meanwhile, speaking ahead of the match with Sheriff, the United boss also confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo was available for selection again.
The 37-year-old missed the draw with Chelsea after storming out of their 2-0 win over Tottenham days previously.
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And Ten Hag said: “It’s not difficult but I think we set everything and we answered all the questions.
“So he was out for one game and now he is back in the squad as usual.”
He added: “I won’t answer anymore.
“So all the questions I think everything we covered last week, everything we explained so we have to focus on the game tomorrow.
“We have an important game because we want to be number one in the group so let’s focus on that.”
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