Marcus Rashford and Raphael Varane return and Harry Maguire keeps his spot… but Antony could be DROPPED after his dismal display at Fulham: How Manchester United could line up for crunch Champions League clash against Copenhagen
- Manchester United face Copenhagen in the Champions League on Wednesday
- United need a win to keep their hopes of qualification alive
- CHRIS SUTTON: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is a CLOWN – It’s All Kicking Off
Manchester United travel to Denmark on Wednesday night hoping to keep their Champions League campaign alive after returning to winning ways with injury time win at Fulham.
The equation is relatively straightforward for Erik ten Hag’s men, who are third in Group A on three points, six behind leaders Bayern Munich and one behind Galatasaray.
Beat Copenhagen and their destiny will rest firmly in their hands, while a draw would significantly complicate the path to the Round-of-16.
Lose at the Parken Stadium, however, and the trap door to the Europa League will almost certainly open.
As it’s hitherto been the case this season, United arrive into the fixture with more questions than answers despite their injury time win against Fulham on Saturday.
Ten Hag confirmed on Tuesday that Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez will not return before Christmas, while Luke Shaw remains unavailable.
Loan signings Sergio Reguilon and Sofyan Amrabat have underwhelmed so far, while Antony looks as far away from justifying his £85million fee as at any point since he arrived at Old Trafford last year.
Here, Mail Sport takes a look at how United could line up for their crucial Champions League fixture.
Erik ten Hag takes his Manchester United side to Denmark on Wednesday knowing a win full put their destiny in Group A firmly in their hands
United returned to winning ways in the Premier League thanks to a 1-0 win at Fulham
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Andre Onana may not have enjoyed the easiest of starts to his Manchester United career, but his place in the starting XI on Wednesday night is assured.
The Cameroonian was the hero when United beat Copenhagen at Old Trafford two weeks ago, as he saved Jordan Larsson’s stoppage-time penalty to preserve a crucial 1-0 win.
Erik ten Hag kept with Onana after high-profile mistakes in the defeats against Bayern Munich and Galatasaray and is not going to drop his keeper after he kept a clean sheet at the weekend.
Andre Onana was the hero when United beat Copenhagen at Old Trafford two weeks ago
The revolving door in United’s defence has barely stopped moving this season.
Raphael Varane started against Copenhagen two weeks ago, but has lost his place to Jonny Evans in the last four Premier League matches due to what Erik ten Hag described as a ‘tactical decision’.
But playing twice in four days could be a stretch too far for the 35-year-old Evans and it would not be a huge surprise to see Varane back in the starting XI.
Harry Maguire has been United’s best defender since forcing his way back into ten Hag’s plans
Raphael Varane could replace Jonny Evans against Copenhagen on Wednesday night
Harry Maguire has been United’s best defender since forcing his way back into ten Hag’s plans and look set to keep his place, as is Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Maguire finished the game against Fulham despite taking an early blow to the head and appearing groggy, but Ten Hag insisted that all the necessary checks had been taken and the England defender is ready to play on Wednesday as well.
Diogo Dalot remains a less than ideal option at left-back, but loan signing Sergio Reguilon hasn’t exactly impressed when given the nod this season.
Victor Lindelof is available for selection again after missing the trip to Fulham with an illness, while Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw are out injured.
MAN UNITED PREDICTED STARTING XI VS COPENHAGEN
Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Varane, Dalot; McTominay, Eriksen, Mount, Fernandes (c), Rashford, Hojlund
A combination of injuries and players underperforming have meant Erik ten Hag has been unable to settle on a winning midfield formula so far this season.
The theme is set to continue for the foreseeable future, with Casemiro out until Christmas at least.
Fresh from scoring the winner at Craven Cottage, Bruno Fernandes will again lead United out, while Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen should also keep their spots in midfield.
The Dane struggled against Fulham, but injected some much-needed urgency when he came on against Copenhagen two weeks ago and has looked more comfortable in the Champions League than he has in the Premier League.
Mason Mount could replace Antony – more on whom later – but Sofyan Amrabat is likely to find himself on the bench again, after being replaced at half-time in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford.
Bruno Fernandes will lead United in Copenhagen after scoring the winner at Fulham
Mason Mount’s start against Newcastle last week in the Carabao Cup was his first in a month
If Erik ten Hag’s patience with Antony isn’t wearing thin, it should be. The Brazilian has been dismal so far this season and has looked nowhere near justifying United’s £85m outlay.
Facundo Pellistri looked lively when he replaced Antony against Fulham but he’s looked more suited to making an impact off the bench than to start.
Ten Hag could deploy Mason Mount on the right with Bruno Fernandes at No.10, but has so far preferred to play the former Chelsea man in a deeper role instead.
Marcus Rashford could return to the starting XI in place of Alejandro Garnacho if he’s passed fit after missing the win against at Fulham.
Antony has been dismal so far this season and has looked nowhere near justifying United’s £85m outlay
Marcus Rashford returned to training after missing United’s 1-0 win at Fulham on Saturday
‘He’s investing hard work in training to get back into form,’ ten Hag said on Tuesday.
‘Marcus is very committed to Manchester United.’
Asked whether Rashford would feature against Copenhagen, ten Hag replied: ‘Yes, 100 percent. [He] missed one game with a small knock.’
Rasmus Hojlund, meanwhile, will once again lead the line as he looks for his first goal in over a month.
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