Harry Maguire.

Why Maguire is absent against Wolves

Monday 03 January 2022 17:10

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire is missing the Reds' first game of 2022.

The centre-back has been ruled out for the 17:30 GMT kick-off against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford, as United look to begin the new year on a positive note.

It is only the third Premier League game that the England international has missed this term after also being absent for two 1-1 draws, at home against Everton in October and away to Chelsea towards the end of November.

Phil Jones partners Raphael Varane at the heart of the defence for the game against Wolves, as United aim to extend Ralf Rangnick's unbeaten start to life in interim charge of the Reds.

The Frenchman had come off the bench to replace Eric Bailly in the 3-1 triumph over Burnley last time out.

Victor Lindelof remains on the sidelines after testing positive for COVID-19.

"Harry received that kind of injury against Burnley that he could play all throughout the game," said Rangnick to Sky Sports. "But he had problems the day after. Until yesterday, we were still hopeful of him being able to play, the same with Eric Bailly, and in both cases it was just a 'no'. Since last night, we knew all three of them were out."

During his conversation with MUTV's Stewart Gardner, Ralf explained: “Victor was still positive, so it was clear since yesterday morning that he would be out and Harry, he received that knock on his chest or whatever, in the game against Burnley so we thought he would be good again for tonight.

"But, yesterday, he was just trying and it was impossible. He even had too much pain when he was just standing around or sitting. It wasn’t possible for him to play.”