Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag will be banking on Raphael Varane to help his defence when they take on Manchester City in a crunch FA Cup tie in a month. The 3rd of May has been set aside as the D-day for two Manchester giants to battle it out for England’s oldest and arguably their most prestigious domestic cup.
Manchester City qualified for the finals after dismantling Sheffield United by three goals to nil (3:0) in the semi-finals. On the other hand, Manchester United had to win the penalty shootout against Brighton and Hove Albion to qualify for their second domestic finals this season. The defensive pairing of Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw had to be utilised during the game. Both first-choice defenders, Varane and Lisandro Martinez were out injured.
An injured Manchester United back line: Raphael Varane and co.
Raphael Varane got injured in the Europa League first-leg clash with Sevilla and was pulled out at halftime with United leading by two goals. Harry Maguire stepped in but had an error-filled game culminating in an unfortunate goal. In the second leg, Harry Maguire was again on the receiving end, making a mistake that gifted Sevilla a goal. United lost the game, with Maguire failing to fill in the shoes of the absent French national.
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The seemingly impenetrable pairing of Shaw and Lindelof
Lindelof and an improvised Luke Shaw have been impressive in the centre-back position keeping two clean sheets in three games. However, Erik Ten Hag knows how lethal the Manchester City attack is and will need Varane back for the game. The World cup winning defender was present when the Red Devils beat Manchester City 2-1 at Old Trafford. He played a crucial role in taming Erling Haaland, who did not manage a single shot on target for the entire game.
Cityzen’s great run of form
Currently, Manchester City are in good form and it will need a confident Manchester United to stop their ambition of completing a domestic treble with the premier league in their sights. With Lisandro Martinez set to be sidelined for the remainder of the season, Varane will be needed at the club. He is being treated and assessed by the physios at the Carrington to see how soon he might return to the squad.