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Erik ten Hag must start Raphael Varane in must-win UCL game vs Bayern

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag must start Raphael Varane in Tuesday’s must-win Champions League group stage game against Bayern Munich at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils suffered an embarrassing 3-0 Premier League loss to Bournemouth on Saturday. They were poor with his decision-making in their own box and paid the price with a costly defeat at home.

The club have no time to ponder over the result, considering they have a crucial European game against Bayern in midweek. United must beat the German champions to have any chance of making the last 16.

The Red Devils are currently bottom of their Champions League group with four points, one behind Galatasaray and Copenhagen. Their chances of making the round of 16 depends on a victory over Bayern combined with a draw in the other group game.

That is far easier said than done, but United need to show a strong defensive resolve first to give themselves a chance of securing three points versus the Bundesliga giants.

Ten Hag should stop the experiment of playing Luke Shaw in central defence after his tough outing versus Bournemouth. He was easily beaten in the air by Philip Billing for the second goal.

Shaw should be reverted to his regular left-back on Tuesday night. Varane has the big-game experience and he should be entrusted alongside Maguire at the heart of the backline.

The €35 million-rated star has not started for the club since late October with Ten Hag regularly citing that the decision is tactical and he prefers Maguire in the right centre-back role.

Varane has not got the nod into the starting XI for seven weeks, but we believe the wait should end versus Bayern. The Frenchman is still United’s best central defender in our opinion.

He has had his fair share of injury troubles this year, but his passing and strong aerial presence puts him apart from other centre-backs. He deserves to start in Wednesday’s must-win game.

Varane and Maguire have played together on several occasions in the past and we would like to see the duo paired together in midweek. Starting Jonny Evans over Varane would be a big mistake in our view with the Northern Irishman no longer in his prime and lacking recovery pace. Victor Lindelof is likely to miss the game through injury.

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