Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw were notable omissions from the Manchester United squad on Wednesday night, for the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Nottingham Forest.
But the former was suspended after picking up two bookings in the earlier rounds of the competition, with Lisandro Martinez and partnering Victor Lindelof at centre-back at the City Ground. The Swede was a surprise selection as he hadn’t played in five games prior.
As for Shaw, Erik ten Hag provided an update before the game and confirmed he was absent due to illness. Asked by Sky Sports if the left-back will return in time for the FA Cup match against Reading on Sunday, Ten Hag replied: “Difficult to say how that develops, so we have to wait how it develops in the coming hours and days.”
Speaking separately to MUTV before the game, the United manager was also asked about the decision to start Lindelof. “We rely on him and we know we have to use the squad, but all the players in the squad are able to play,” he explained.
“Once their time’s there, they have to deliver. It’s about taking responsibility, but it’s always about the team performance. I think they know what to do, our rules and principles. It’s a great night and a great occasion, this semi-final.”
United started with David de Gea in nets against Forest, ahead of a back four of Aaron-Bissaka, Lindelof, Martinez and Tyrell Malacia, with Raphael Varane named on the bench. In midfield, Casemiro returned alongside Christian Eriksen, and Bruno Fernandes was selected in a more offensive role. Antony, Wout Weghorst and Marcus Rashford started in the attacking areas.