A few months ago it would have been incredible to think that Erik ten Hag would be in a quandary about whether Raphael Varane is good enough to replace Jonny Evans in the heart of his Manchester United defence, but that is the situation facing him right now.
Evans picked up what looked like a hamstring injury against FC Copenhagen on Wednesday which will probably rule him out for several weeks.
Varane came on in his place with Harry Maguire moving to left centre back and the project was less than successful as United shipped four goals during the 85 minutes they played together.
With Lisandro Martinez a long-term absentee, the only other option for tomorrow’s Premier League home match against Luton Town is Victor Lindelof. If, as expected, he comes in at LCB, Ten Hag will have to choose between Maguire and Varane at RCB. On current form, the England man could get the nod.
Despite conceding all those goals, Andre Onana has done little wrong in goal lately and will continue.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been a bright spark at right back since his return from injury and should keep his place.
Diogo Dalot had been doing well at left back until a poor error where he switched off and allowed Lerager to go unchallenged to score Copenhagen’s equaliser. This may be enough for Ten Hag to recall Sergio Reguilon for the Luton game as he continues to wait for Luke Shaw’s return.
The fact that United scored three against the Danes could tell Ten Hag he has found the best formula from an attacking point of view, so we think he could stick to the same forward six.
One doubt could be whether the aging Christian Eriksen can play three 90 minute games in the space of 8 days, but with Sofyan Amrabat and Mason Mount both struggling to settle at United and Casemiro out until Christmas, there are few options.
Kobbie Mainoo could be included but it is unlikely he’ll start as he has not played for the first team since getting injured against Real Madrid in a pre-season friendly.
A McTominay – Eriksen – Fernandes midfield therefore almost picks itself, with the excellent Alejandro Garnacho continuing on the left and Marcus Rashford, who was sent off on Wednesday, returning on the right.
In a front three bursting with pace, Rasmus Hojlund will lead the line and will be hoping to get off the mark in the Premier League after netting a brace on Wednesday, making it 5 from 4 in the Champions League.
With all that in mind, here is our predicted XI for the 3pm Saturday kick-off: