Manchester United vs FC Sheriff: Early team news – Maguire returns, Varane ruled out

Manchester United take on FC Sheriff Tiraspol at Old Trafford on Thursday night. Club captain Harry Maguire has returned from injury after spending the past few weeks nursing an injury he picked up on international duty.

While a point would be enough to secure qualification to the Europa League knockout phase, Erik ten Hag’s side need all three points if they are to finish ahead of Real Sociedad in the group.

Ten Hag wants to avoid the play-off round for the knockouts which United will enter if they finish runners-up in the group. It’s a genuine risk after losing the first game in the group against La Real.

To make matters worse for the team that finishes second, they will have to face one of the teams dropping out of the Champions League, over two legs.

Ten Hag confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the squad, but Raphael Varane has been ruled out of action for a while.

“Yes, Cristiano will be in the squad tomorrow,” Ten Hag told reporters, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News. “He will be out until the World Cup.”

Ten Hag stressed that he thinks Varane will be fine to play at the World Cup, although no decision has been made on that until they can assess the prognosis.

The manager added that Harry Maguire, Donny van de Beek and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have all returned to training and could be in contention to face Sheriff in the Europa League tomorrow night.

“They are in training. Harry, Donny, Aaron all training in preparation for tomorrow. After training I will make a decision.”

Ten Hag also confirmed that Anthony Martial was ruled out for this one.

So, there you have it.

It’s good to see players return from long-term injuries because it gives Ten Hag more options. We have a Carabao Cup tie against Aston Villa coming up and they will all want minutes to prove themselves then.

Van de Beek will be looking to prove what he can do in midfield but the clock is ticking for the Netherlands international. Meanwhile, the same can be said about Wan-Bissaka, who is seen by many fans as being surplus to requirements.

Harry Maguire to start against FC Sheriff?

Ten Hag may look to give Maguire minutes alongside Lisandro Martinez tomorrow night rather than throwing him back in for a league game.

Personally, I would opt for Lindelof in the remaining league matches and use Maguire off the bench or in cup matches.

Ten Hag won’t be resting Martinez during this period.

More Stories Aaron Wan-Bissaka Donny van de Beek Erik ten Hag FC Sheriff Tiraspol Harry Maguire Manchester United