Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has confirmed that Harry Maguire will start against Southampton in the Premier League tomorrow.
The England international had a tough outing against Burnley on Tuesday night. The centre-back interfered with play from an offside position which denied Raphael Varane the opening goal.
In the second half, he was turned inside out by Wout Weghorst before Jay Rodriguez got behind him to score the equaliser. There have been calls from some fans to drop him, but it is unlikely to happen.
Speaking in today’s press conference, Rangnick said that the 28-year-old had an outstanding game against West Ham United, and insisted that the whole defence was to blame for the Clarets goal.
The German tactician added that the club captain only recently came back from an injury, and backed him to perform at the same level as the Hammers game tomorrow.
He told Manchester Evening News: “I think he had an outstanding game vs West Ham. We could have defended transitional moment better at Burnley but the rest of our defence was not really good.”
“We should not have allowed the counter-attack to happen. Harry was injured, came back, had a very good game vs West Ham and sure he can perform like that tomorrow.”
Maguire has had an average season by his high standards, and there have been genuine concerns over his positioning over a number of Premier League matches.
It was anticipated that he could get the axe after his poor showing at Turf Moot, but Rangnick has surprisingly backed him to come good against Southampton.
The game should be a big test for Maguire, considering the Saints are coming off a splendid 3-2 comeback win over Tottenham Hotspur away from home.
The club took advantage of splendid crosses into the box, particularly from James Ward-Prowse in the second half. Spurs paid the price for poor positioning.
United will need to cut down on crosses from both flanks, but they also need more assurance in central defence. Maguire has been backed, but Rangnick may not stay patient for long.
Victor Lindelof was in a good run of form before being away due to personal reasons followed by an illness. The Sweden international will be knocking on the door to make his comeback.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com