Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire were both dropped by Erik ten Hag for Manchester United’s crucial Premier League derby with Liverpool on Monday.
Veteran forward Ronaldo and club captain Maguire started on the bench against Jurgen Klopp’s Reds at Old Trafford, as the Dutchman looked to stimulate his side following a pair of dismal performances to start the campaign.
Ronaldo, arguably United’s brightest spark during a turgid 2021-22 campaign, has failed to find the net this term in the wake of a disrupted pre-season that saw him sit out the club’s tour of Asia and Australia.
The Portugal international has reportedly been seeking an exit from the club to play Champions League football, though with just over a week until the transfer window shuts, it appears likely he will remain.
Maguire, frequently a scapegoat for the club’s struggles last term following a superb 2020-21 season and Euro 2020 performance for England, has meanwhile looked shaky at the back, with United shipping six goals in their first two games.
Erik’s named our line-up to face Liverpool.
Come on, United!#MUFC || #MUNLIV
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 22, 2022
A home loss to Brighton and Hove Albion was followed by a 4-0 rout at the hands of Brentford, and Ten Hag sought to make corrective action for one of his side’s biggest games of the season.
Ten Hag made four changes in total, with Luke Shaw and Fred also dropping out, while Tyrell Malacia, Scott McTominay, Antony Elanga and Raphael Varane were recalled.
Liverpool made three alterations for the trip to Old Trafford, meanwhile, with fit-again Roberto Firmino joining Joe Gomez and captain Jordan Henderson in the XI.
Fabinho surprisingly dropped out along with Nat Phillips, while Darwin Nunez served the first of a three-match ban.
Here’s how we line up for #MUNLIV at Old Trafford tonight
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 22, 2022
Manchester United XI: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Malacia; McTominay, Eriksen, Fernandes; Sancho, Elanga, Rashford.
Subs: Heaton, Maguire, Ronaldo, Martial, Fred, Shaw, Wan-Bissaka, Van De Beek, Garnacho.
Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson; Elliott, Milner, Henderson; Salah, Diaz, Firmino.
Subs: Adrian, Davies, Carvalho, Bajcetic, Van den Berg, Fabinho, Tsmikas, Clark, Phillips.
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