Manchester United receive big defensive boost ahead of FA Cup semi-final, star defender set to be available

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Carabao Cup Third Round
Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Carabao Cup Third Round / Lewis Storey/GettyImages

According to a report from the Manchester Evening News, Harry Maguire is expected to be available for Manchester United against Coventry City in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

The England international, 31, was seen clutching his left thigh during the 2-2 draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium at the weekend. The central defender was also spotted having a conversation with physio Richard Merron and club doctor Jim Moxon during the first half of the game amid fears he could miss the crucial FA Cup encounter against Coventry City.

Speaking to reporters about Harry Maguire’s fitness after the Bournemouth game, Erik ten Hag said: “Harry Maguire had an issue in the first half and luckily for us he overcame and recovered from it. You can see the second half he was up there and then he can express his leadership, he can express his defensive qualities and rest on the ball, we especially needed that in this back four.

“At half-time we repaired it, in the second half, Harry was better, we repaired it on the right side and we took more control of the game.”

To put Manchester United fans into some kind of panic, Harry Maguire was not pictured in team training on Tuesday. The Manchester Evening News claims the 31-year-old’s absence was a precaution and he should be available to start against Mark Robins’ Coventry side, as Erik ten Hag aims to reach a second successive FA Cup final.

Ten Hag, who is under pressure to get results in the second half of the campaign with his job potentially on the line following the arrival of minority owners Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS, will certainly hope Maguire is fit to play on Sunday. The Man United boss is already down to barebones regarding the centre-back options, with the likes of Jonny Evans, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof all out injured.

Red Devil Armada’s verdict:

It would be a massive blow for us if Harry Maguire was to miss undoubtedly our season’s most important game on the coming weekend. Coventry City have had an excellent FA Cup campaign so far and they will be putting everything on line to beat Ten Hag’s side.

Having Maguire at the back will be extremely crucial as we don’t have any more fit centre-backs available at the moment. Let’s hope our former skipper is fully fit and available to play the entire game at Wembley Stadium.