Man Utd vs Liverpool: Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane set to start after training together

REVEALED: Erik ten Haag has been training with Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez in central defense for Manchester United… leaving captain Harry Maguire at risk of being dropped for Liverpool showdown

  • Manchester United are set to host Liverpool at Old Trafford on Monday night
  • Erik ten Hag’s men will be seeking their first points of the 2022-23 season
  • Lisandro Martinez is expected to keep his place in defense despite a shaky start
  • Ten Haag has been training with Martinez and Raphael Varane at centre-back

Manchester United boss Erik ten Haag is set to pair Raphael Varane with Lisandro Martinez against Liverpool tonight after putting the centre-backs together in training last week – with captain Harry Maguire facing demotion to the bench.

United will aim to secure their first points of the season after beginning the campaign with defeats against Brighton and Brentford, which has already piled the pressure on Ten Hag just two games into his tenure.

The Red Devils were beaten 2-1 by Graham Potter’s men on their new head coach’s Old Trafford bow, before they fell four goals behind in the space of 35 minutes away at Brentford.

Lisandro Martinez has endured a difficult start to his Manchester United career
Raphael Varane is in line to start alongside him against Liverpool

Lisandro Martinez (L) and Raphael Varane (R) have been training at centre-back together ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool

Harry Maguire could be dropped from the starting lineup at Old Trafford on Monday night

Harry Maguire could be dropped from the starting lineup at Old Trafford on Monday night

New defensive recruit Martinez struggled in both losses, particularly in the four-goal drubbing against a buoyant Bees side, who took advantage of the defender’s 5ft 9in frame and outmuscled him on the day.

Many have questioned whether the £57m signing is tall enough to operate at centre-back in the Premier League, pointing to his height as a major cause for concern.

However, Sportsmail understands that Ten Hag is planning to pair Martinez with Varane in their crunch clash with Liverpool after training with the duo at centre-back last week.

That means Maguire, who has also come in for criticism after United’s opening two defeats, is likely to drop to the bench at Old Trafford this evening.

Ten Hag is set to alter his backline after suffering two opening defeats in the Premier League

Ten Hag is set to alter his backline after suffering two opening defeats in the Premier League

Martinez struggled with the physicality of Brentford in their 4-0 defeat against Thomas Frank's men

Martinez struggled with the physicality of Brentford in their 4-0 defeat against Thomas Frank’s men

Maguire also came in for criticism and is now expected to be axed from Ten Hag's starting XI

Maguire also came in for criticism and is now expected to be axed from Ten Hag’s starting XI

The England international has been heavily scrutinized by Red Devils fans over the past year, with some calling for him to be axed as captain following Ten Hag’s arrival.

Yet despite the signing of Martinez, the Dutchman remained adamant in pre-season that Maguire was one of the first names on his team sheet.

‘We bring [Martinez] in not to strengthen the squad, but the team,’ Ten Hag said. ‘Is Maguire a first-choice? I think he is.

‘He’s proved it in the past, but he also has to prove it in the present time and in the future.

How many times has he played? Sixty times for England? He has a career that is really impressive and I expect a lot from him.

‘But there is also internal competition and that is what a club like Man United needs.’

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