Manchester United’s Potential Lineup Without Maguire & Varane

France player Raphael Varane.

REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Manchester United could be facing an upcoming run of tough fixtures without Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane.

Maguire was forced off the pitch due to a calf injury during United’s defeat to Aston Villa before the international break. The Englishman consequently missed his side’s clash against Everton and Villarreal whilst also not being able to join the England squad.

Meanwhile, Varane suffered a groin injury during the Nations League final against Spain earlier this week. The Frenchman was substituted before half-time and has been ruled out for the next few weeks.

This means that the Red Devils will have to face Leicester City away from home without their best defenders. Moreover, since return dates for the pair haven’t yet been confirmed, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could potentially be left with just Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, and Phil Jones as his centre-back options.

Lindelof and Bailly are the obvious replacements if the gaffer is looking to retain his usual 4-2-3-1 setup.

On the other hand, Luke Shaw can be utilised as a left-sided centre-back with Alex Telles playing in a wing-back role. The Norwegian boss has used a 3-5-2 formation effectively before, so it is an option worth considering.

However, this means Aaron Wan-Bissaka will also have to be shifted to a wing-back role where he does not shine the best. The Englishman lacks offensive prowess to begin with and by playing him further up the flank, his defensive capabilities are reduced at the same time.

The Mancunians have enjoyed a good run with a back-four and will likely want to stick to the system that already works. Here’s how they could line up on Saturday:

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw

Midfielders: Scott McTominay, Fred

Playmakers: Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba

Striker: Cristiano Ronaldo

Formation: 4-2-3-1

The Old Trafford outfit will likely have to take a defensive approach to the King Power Stadium as they are weakened without their star duo. The inclusion of McTominay and Fred allows that but Jadon Sancho consequently misses out.