“Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo should be dropped against Manchester City”

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Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has been urged to drop Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo for Sunday’s Premier League game against Manchester City.

Paul Merson speaking on Soccer Saturday:

“If the reports are accurate [of players wanting Maguire dropped], that’s not nice because Maguire is a top bloke and a good professional who looks after the players. He’s not really worried about himself and he’s a team player.

“But for me, I don’t think he plays in this game and I’d also play [Marcus] Rashford and [Anthony] Elanga. If they’ve got any chance of winning this game, they have to play on the counter-attack with plenty of pace, skill and energy.

“Personally, I’d leave Ronaldo out of this game. Against Watford, they dominated the game and had something like 80 per cent possession, but they’re not going to have the ball as much against City.

“How many times are they going to be in City’s half dominating the ball? If you’re John Stones or Aymeric Laporte, they would rather play against Ronaldo than mark someone like Rashford. They don’t want to play up against pace.

“City are finding it harder as everybody is sitting back now against them – 10 behind the ball and breaking like Tottenham and Everton did.

“They’ve got to be careful because if United get it right this weekend, they and Liverpool are the two teams I can confidently say could go to the Etihad and win.

“They have the firepower and we’ve seen it before with the way they play but Rangnick has to get it right, otherwise it could be four or five the other way.”