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SPORTS UPDATE

EPL: Drop Ronaldo, Maguire – Merson tells Rangnick players to start against City

Arsenal legend, Paul Merson, has handed Manchester United interim coach, Ralf Rangnick, names of players to start the Red Devils’ Premier League derby against Manchester City on Sunday.

Merson wants Rangnick to drop Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire for Man United’s tie against Man City.

He, however, wants the German to start Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga against Pep Guardiola’s side

Speaking on Soccer Saturday, Merson said, “If the reports are accurate [of players wanting Maguire dropped], that is 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 is a team player.

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

“Personally, I would leave [Cristiano] Ronaldo out of this game. Against Watford, they dominated the game and had something like 80 per cent possession, but they are 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 are 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 have got to be careful because if [Manchester] 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’ve the firepower and we have 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.”

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