Why Victor Lindelof and Scott McTominay missed Man Utd vs Nottingham Forest

The Manchester United pair were surprise absentees when the teams were announced.

Manchester United pair Victor Lindelof and Scott McTominay missed the club’s Premier League fixture against Nottingham Forest due to illness.

The duo were surprise omissions on the teamsheet which was announced an hour before kick-off at Old Trafford. But Erik ten Hag told MUTV that Lindelof and McTominay have been struck down by illness following a recent outbreak in the squad.

Harry Maguire has also suffered from illness and missed the Carabao Cup win over Burnley last week, while he was only deemed fit enough to start on the bench as the Red Devils returned to competitive action.

“Luckily, Harry Maguire recovered from it but he is not ready to start. He can’t play 90 minutes, that’s why he’s on the bench,” explained Ten Hag.

The United manager was also asked about the decision to start Raphael Varane just nine days after the World Cup final. “I explained to him but already he was aware of it,” said Ten Hag. “We have high ambitions and as an important squad player and as a leader, he took responsibility and said ‘I’m ready to play’.”

Lisandro Martinez was another not included in the United squad following his late return from the World Cup, as Argentina won the tournament in Qatar, while Jadon Sancho remains out.

As a result of the defensive absentees, United started with a makeshift back four of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia, who played ahead of David de Gea.

Casemiro started at the back in the win over Burnley but returned to midfield against Forest, in a trio alongside Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes. Antony, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial made up the front three.

United will be hoping Maguire, Martinez and Lindelof are all available for the club’s next game, which comes on New Year’s Eve away to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Youngster Rhys Bennett was named on the bench on Tuesday and could be an option, with centre-backs Axel Tuanzebe and Teden Mengi also currently out through injury.