Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023

    Manchester United: Raphael Varane is absent for training ahead of Liverpool pre-season clash

    Raphael Varane is absent from Man United training today, while Harry Maguire is training alone – as Erik ten Hag faces an early defensive issue ahead of their first game of the pre-season against Liverpool tomorrow

    Raphael Varane missed Manchester United’s open training on Monday
    The 29-year-old central defender did train at the STB Academy earlier in the day
    Harry Maguire trained away from United’s squad at the Rajamangala Stadium
    United will face Liverpool in their first preseason game at that location on Tuesday







    Manchester United’s new manager Erik ten Hag could hinder his first look at his team in a match setting with the absence of centre-back duo Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire.

    United will face their first pre-season game against Liverpool in Thailand on Tuesday.

    The Red Devils held two sessions on Monday with the first at the STB Academy before heading to the Rajamangala Stadium, the venue for the friendly, with Varane missing completely in the latter.

    Raphael Varane missed Manchester United’s opening training in Thailand on Monday

    Harry Maguire didn’t participate in training either – instead he trained outside the squad

    They can now miss Erik ten Hag (center)’s first pre-season game against Liverpool on Tuesday

    The 29-year-old did train with the team on Monday morning, but was absent from the open session, which was held in front of a few thousand fans.

    Ten Hag’s problems were exacerbated because Maguire did not also participate in team training.

    Unlike Varane, the captain was present at the Rajamangala Stadium but trained away from the rest of the squad.

    The session itself saw Ten Hag put his players to the test with running exercises and then some ball work. The latter include rondos before establishing offensive and defensive patterns and then a small batch.

    With United facing Liverpool on Tuesday, it is unclear whether the Dutchman can call on Varane or Maguire.

    If so, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe – the only three other centre-backs to train with the group on Monday – are likely to face the Reds for extended minutes.

    Ten Hag confirmed earlier on Monday that Maguire will remain as United captain.

    Maguire’s position as skipper has been called into question after the England defender lost form and his place in the team last season.

    Ten Hag was also less than emphatic in his support for Maguire who will remain as captain at his unveiling in May, but the United boss confirmed his decision ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Liverpool in Bangkok.

    “Harry Maguire is our captain,” said Ten Hag. “I have to get to know all the players, but he is an established captain and he has had a lot of success.”

    The news is a welcome boost for Maguire in the aftermath of a difficult season and with United looking for a new centre-back after an improved £43 million bid for Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez.

    Ten Hag is looking forward to taking on Jurgen Klopp and describes Tuesday’s match as ‘exciting’.

    “Playing against Liverpool is always exciting,” said Ten Hag. “It’s a big game, we’re looking forward to it and it’s a really good test for us.

    “Manchester United’s standard is to win every game, so we will start with that in mind and be determined. We are happy to play this game in Bangkok for many, many fans.

    “We have just started, some players have only been playing for a week. Now we have to build a team and a way of playing. We are really short in the pre-season, but of course we have a lot more to develop.’


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