Raphael Varane absence explained as Man Utd star misses Fulham clash
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Raphael Varane is missing for Manchester United against Fulham today due to injury, it has been claimed. The France international had been expected to start the FA Cup showdown at Old Trafford. However, instead, Harry Maguire has been given a chance to stake a claim for a regular starting berth.
Manchester United have gone strong for today’s match with Fulham as they look to make the FA Cup quarter-finals and keep their hopes of a treble alive.
David De Gea starts in goal, in front of a back four consisting of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw.
In midfield, Scott McTominay, Marcel Sabitzer and Bruno Fernandes all start.
And, up top, the Red Devils have gone with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Wout Weghorst.
According to ESPN, however, Varane is missing for United due to injury. Fortunately it’s thought to be nothing serious and he’ll be back for the club after the international break.
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The absence of the 2018 World Cup winner represents a blow for United.
However, victory would see them through to their second domestic semi-final of the season – while also boosting their chances of claiming a treble.
United won the Carabao Cup last month, beating Newcastle in the final courtesy of goals from Marcus Rashford and Casemiro.
And they’re also still in the hunt for Europa League glory, too, having made the last eight of that competition on Thursday.
Speaking ahead of the match between United and Fulham, meanwhile, Erik ten Hag admitted Fulham would be a tough test for his side.
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“Fulham is a really good team. High in the league, very good performances, they play decent football,” he said.
“Palhinha is definitely a massive factor in that team in that deep position in midfield.
“[He] organises very good, links up very good, intercepting a lot of balls, but as I said, the whole team of Fulham is well-structured and we have to play our best football.”
One player United are primed to face is Andreas Pereira.
The Brazil international left Old Trafford for Fulham back in the summer having failed to make the grade at the club.
And Ten Hag said: “I am happy for Andrea Pereira.
“We worked together a short time in PSV, a long time ago, then he went his way to Manchester United, played a lot of years here and I think it was a good step [for him].
“Now he’s playing on a regular basis, has a good partnership with Mitrovic, but as I said the whole team from Fulham is well-structured.”
And, on the chance to make the semi-finals of another competition, he added: “Yes of course, but I think with this game we close a period, and then after it goes to the final stage of the season; therefore this game is so huge and we know it.
“The fans are really excited, on Sunday it’s a big game at Old Trafford, they will be behind us I’m sure and we have to give them energy, give them celebrations, and we have to do everything to make that happen.”
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