Paul Merson has explained why he believes Ralf Rangnick should drop Manchester United stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire for their derby clash against Manchester City on Sunday.
Ronaldo and Maguire have been at the centre of media attention for different reasons over the last few weeks.
Although CR7 is United's top goalscorer this season with 15 goals, he has struggled for form in recent weeks and is currently on a run of one goal in his last ten games.
Maguire was dropped to the bench for the 0-0 draw against Watford last week, and recent reports have claimed some of his team-mates are privately questioning his ability.
Commenting on that speculation on Soccer Saturday, Merson said: "If the reports are accurate [of players wanting Maguire dropped], that's not nice because Maguire is a top bloke and a good professional who looks after the players.
"He's not really worried about himself and he's a team player.
"But for me, I don't think he plays in this game and I'd also play [Marcus] Rashford and [Anthony] Elanga. If they've got any chance of winning this game, they have to play on the counter-attack with plenty of pace, skill and energy."
Should United drop Ronaldo and Maguire for the Manchester derby? Let us know in the comments section.
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Merson also delivered his verdict on Ronaldo, who he believes lacks the raw pace to trouble City's defence at the Etihad on Sunday.
"Personally, I'd leave Ronaldo out of this game," he continued. "Against Watford, they dominated the game and had something like 80 per cent possession, but they're not going to have the ball as much against City.
"How many times are they going to be in City's half dominating the ball? If you're John Stones or Aymeric Laporte, they would rather play against Ronaldo than mark someone like Rashford. They don't want to play up against pace."
United are 19 points adrift of their neighbours ahead of the meeting at the Etihad, but victory could give them some breathing space in the race for the top four.
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