Ten Hag hails Maguire after Man Utd beat Copenhagen
Manchester United star Harry Maguire’s resurgence at Old Trafford will likely earn him a start in Sunday’s Manchester derby. At the start of the season, Maguire found himself demoted to fourth-choice centre-back but some excellent recent performances have impressed Erik ten Hag.
The 30-year-old is in line to begin against Manchester City and will be tasked with stopping the in-form Erling Haaland. Express Sport looks at who Ten Hag might pick to start the Premier League clash.
Andre Onana enjoyed the best night of his United career so far on Tuesday. He preserved the Red Devils’ lead against Copenhagen by saving Jordan Larsson’s stoppage-time penalty. Onana has displayed his faults since his £43million switch from Inter Milan and will need to produce another great performance this weekend.
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Defenders: Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Reguilon
Ten Hag has reprised Maguire as a left-sided centre-back despite effectively suggesting that the tactic did not work just six months ago. The Dutchman insisted that the passing angles on the left side did not allow the England international to thrive.
Asked in April if Maguire can play on the left of a defensive pairing, Ten Hag said: “Not this season. The angles are not good for Harry if he is playing on the left side, it’s difficult for him also defending in wide areas on his left foot but I think he is more capable on the right.
“Victor [Lindelof] is very good, he can use both feet and I think he also did a brilliant job in the rest of defence and the defensive transitions. That’s why we prefer to do it with them in this way.”
But Maguire has been excellent in the position alongside Raphael Varane and capped a positive display against Copenhagen with the only goal.
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Midfielders: Amrabat, Mount, Fernandes
Ten Hag revealed that Casemiro is in a tight race to be fit to face City. Sofyan Amrabat could continue as the defensive midfielder in the Brazilian’s absence.
Mason Mount is finally finding his feet at Old Trafford and could be the only change from the Champions League win over Copenhagen, replacing Scott McTominay. Captain Bruno Fernandes is the first name on the team sheet, particularly in a game as big as this.
Forwards: Antony, Hojlund, Rashford
United can name an unchanged front three for the third successive match. Ten Hag has finally settled on a forward trio, giving United’s regular starting XI much more consistency.
Ten Hag has called on his attackers to be more clinical. Marcus Rashford, who has scored just once this season, is in desperate need of improvement.
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