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H. Maguire

Man Utd bench Ronaldo & Maguire for Liverpool match as Ten Hag tries to recover from Brentford sting

2:04 PM EDT 8/22/22
Cristiano Ronaldo Harry Maguire Manchester United
The Red Devils have made big changes as they look to earn points for the first time this season

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire and star attacker Cristiano Ronaldo have been dropped from the starting XI to face Liverpool at Old Trafford on Monday. The pair had to settle for a place in the bench for the headline clash against last season's Premier League runners-up.

Maguire completed both of United's previous two matches in the English top-flight, lining up at the heart of the defence alongside new signing Lisandro Martinez, while Ronaldo featured in both games, playing the full 90 minutes against Brentford last week.

Why have Maguire and Ronaldo been dropped by Man Utd?

Coach Erik ten Hag has opted to switch things up in his back-line for the match against Jurgen Klopp's side.

Manchester United were humiliated in each of their first two matches of the new season, first going down 2-1 at home against Brighton and then getting thrashed by Brentford 4-0 with all four goals coming inside the first 35 minutes.

Ten Hag has reacted by leaving Maguire out of the first-team and bringing Raphael Varane into the fold to partner Martinez. The French and Argentine centre-backs were partnered together in training sessions last week and the ex-Ajax manager has been persuaded to test them out on home soil on Monday.

Additionally, Ronaldo has been dropped in favour of forwards Anthony Elanga, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford. The Portugal legend came off the bench in the season opener before starting last weekend.

Will Maguire and Ronaldo leave Man Utd?

The omission of Maguire and Ronaldo from the clash with the Reds comes in the wake of reports that they could leave the club before the transfer window comes to a close.

Ronaldo’s future has been in doubt all summer as it was claimed he wanted to join a team competing in the Champions League this season. However, no deal has gone through as of yet and Ten Hag has insisted several times that the Portugal star will remain at the club.

Chelsea have been linked with a move for 29-year-old Maguire, however the Manchester club may be reluctant to let their captain leave this summer so late in the transfer window and to one of their domestic rivals.

Maguire, who joined United three years ago from Leicester, has made 146 appearances in all competitions for the Old Trafford side

However, he faced heavy criticism from pundits and United fans for his poor performances as the team failed to live up to expectation last season.