What has gone wrong at Man Utd?
Erik ten Hag is likely to start a similar team against FC Copenhagen as he fielded in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Fulham, with Manchester United desperately needing three points in the Champions League. But three players, in particular, must not drop to the bench at the Parken Stadium if United are to avoid a humiliating Group A exit.
The Red Devils required a 91st-minute Bruno Fernandes winner to beat Fulham at Craven Cottage, but three individuals who have been in and out of Ten Hag’s side this season shone brightest.
Express Sport pinpoints the trio who must keep their places alongside unchallenged starters like Andre Onana, Bruno Fernandes and Rasmus Hojlund in the Danish capital on Wednesday night.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka made his first start since September on Saturday and showed Ten Hag exactly what he had been missing during his injury absence.
The 25-year-old right-back barely gave Fulham a sniff down his flank, not being dribbled past once, and was heavily involved in United’s attacks.
Diogo Dalot performed well at left-back, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Ten Hag favour him over Sergio Reguilon again against Copenhagen.
But Wan-Bissaka started the season as his first-choice right-back, and he should continue in the position in midweek.
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Alongside Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire’s surprise renaissance continued in fine fashion on the banks of the River Thames. The 30-year-old overcame early injury fears to produce a monstrous display.
Maguire has transitioned from Ten Hag’s fifth-choice centre-back to an undroppable force at the heart of his defence.
Against Fulham, he made nine clearances, completed six long balls and won 10 of his 13 duels, including eight out of 10 in the air.
The former United captain is benefitting the team defensively and offensively at the moment. He simply must keep his place. Who starts over Jonny Evans and Raphael Varane is the more pressing question.
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If Marcus Rashford returns to fitness before Wednesday, he should travel to Copenhagen and start on the left wing.
But Alejandro Garnacho was so bright last time out, attempting five take-ons, drawing three fouls and creating two chances.
The 19-year-old winger must start, and Ten Hag would be wise to experiment with him on the right, dropping the impactless Antony to the bench.
Hojlund has been starved of service as of late. Having a right-footed player on that flank capable of beating his man could work wonders for Garnacho and his fellow young forward.
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