Why Raphael Varane missed Man Utd vs Fulham in the FA Cup

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Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez started in defence with Raphael Varane out for Manchester United.

Raphael Varane was a surprise absentee for Manchester United when the teams were announced for the FA Cup quarter-final against Fulham on Sunday.

The defender was on the bench for the midweek Europa League win over Real Betis and it was presumed he would return to the side for the visit of Fulham. However, Harry Maguire and Lisando Martinez were named as centre-backs in the starting line-up, with Varane not on the bench for the FA Cup clash.

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The Frenchman missed the quarter-final with a minor knock. However, the problem is not expected to be serious and he should be available again after the international break with the club’s next game on 2 April against Newcastle United.

Varane has played 27 games in all competitions this season for United and has formed a superb partnership with Varane over the course of the campaign, one which has limited the game time available for Maguire and Victor Lindelof.

But the former started on Sunday against Fulham, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw in the full-back areas, and David de Gea in goal. With Casemiro suspended after his red card last week, Scott McTominay and Marcel Sabitzer started in midfield, as Fred surprisingly dropped to the bench.

In the attacking areas, Jadon Sancho came back into the team, while Bruno Fernandes, Marucs Rashford and Wout Weghorst also started.

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United starting XI: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Martinez, Shaw; McTominay, Sabitzer; Fernandes, Sancho, Rashford, Weghorst.

Substitutes: Butland, Lindelof, Dalot, Malacia, Fred, Mainoo, Elanga, Antony, Pellistri.

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