With Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane both picking up injuries midweek against Sevilla, a huge concern has been raised regarding their replacements.
Both in the bad books of United supporters, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof are expected to come into Erik ten Hag’s lineup with Martinez, Varane, and Luke Shaw out injured.
But the historical data shows that United fans may not have to worry as much as they think.
As per Football Daily, Maguire and Lindelof have partnered each other at the heart of United’s backline 80 times in the Premier League and have come out victorious 42 times, with 22 draws and 16 losses.
Manchester United's Premier League record with Maguire & Lindelof starting
◼️ Games – 80
◼️ Won – 42
◼️ Drawn – 22
◼️ Lost – 16
◼️ Goals against – 92
◼️ Win percentage – 52.5% pic.twitter.com/bcm8VwcuJs
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 14, 2023
A 52.5% win rate may initially seem low, but it is only slightly below United’s overall 58.6% win rate in the league this season.
More importantly, the duo’s record in the Premier League has produced an average of 1.85 points per match, again only a slight fall off from United’s 1.93 points per match so far in the league under Ten Hag.
The most shocking stat though, is that of first choice pairing Martinez and Varane. Starting 16 matches in the league together so far, the pairing have only picked up seven wins and an average of 1.625 points per match, a significant decrease from Maguire and Lindelof’s historic record.
With a smaller sample size for Martinez and Varane, the lower output doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be missed at all, but the record of Maguire and Lindelof shows they are a capable backup pairing who can be relied upon to pickup results and see out the season.
At 1.85 points per match, the expected outcome over a season would be 70.3 points, an amount that would place within the top four in two of the last three Premier League seasons. It is a stat that is in line with the factual results of United finishing second and third place in the league with Maguire and Lindelof as the main central defensive pairing under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The main worry for the pairing will be a lack of match sharpness, having not played regularly in recent times but the English and Swedish defenders’ only start in the league this season produced a clean sheet in a 3-0 win over Bournemouth.
But after years of playing behind a leaky midfield in Scott McTominay and Fred, the added quality and solidity of Casemiro sitting in front of them will assist in keeping it tight at the back.
In all competitions under Ten Hag, the pair have produced four wins and single defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad in the opening match of the Europa League.
So while many United supporters are worried about the prospect, there are very few clubs who can rely upon backups as strong as Maguire and Lindelof to step in during an injury crisis.