Rangnick confirms Maguire and Varane will start together v West Ham

Ralf Rangnick has confirmed that Harry Maguire will return to the centre of the Manchester United defence for today’s game with West Ham.

Victor Lindelof started the 3-1 win at Brentford, but will miss the clash with the Hammers after returning to Sweden following a break-in at his house during that match.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Rangnick confirmed that Maguire will start alongside Raphael Varane this afternoon.

Maguire also spoke to the club website about his fitness battle, and says he feels ready to return from the start after a substitute appearance at the Brentford Community Stadium.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

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“With Victor now being out, Harry will play from the beginning tomorrow and again be the captain of the team,” said Rangnick.

“It is not the first time Harry and Rapha will play together, as they have done so quite a few times in the last few months. I’m very positive it will be a good partnership once more in tomorrow’s game.”

Maguire added: “Obviously I had a little setback [with a chest injury] for a couple of weeks and it’s nice to be back on the pitch.

“It was my first minutes for two or three weeks after a little setback but it’s one that I feel I’ve overcome. I’ve managed to get a good week’s training in and also the 20 minutes I played [on Wednesday night] so I feel like I’m ready now.”

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Rangnick has confirmed the makeup of his back four already, as he said that Diogo Dalot would continue at right-back, with Alex Telles on the left.

With Lindelof out, as well as Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw, the back four almost picks itself here, with Phil Jones the only probable defensive cover on the bench.

Rangnick will be hoping to escape the Hammers game without a defensive injury which would require a reshuffle, with Jones thrust into action at right-back the most likely.

The German also reiterated at his pre-match press conference that he is open to starting matches with a three-man backline, although that is likely to come when he has more options.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.