Schmeichel, Carragher on Impact of Harry Maguire Missing the UEL Final

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Team Captain Harry Maguire didn’t train with the rest of the Manchester United squad today, and thus is appears he won’t be featuring tomorrow in the Europa League final against Villarreal. The skipper has missed the last four league games due to an ankle injury.

CBS Sports and Paramount+ did a media Zoom call today, to preview the two UEFA finals, and during that session analysts Jamie Carragher and Peter Schmeichel weighed in on just how much the loss of Harry Maguire adversely impacts United.

Villarreal vs Manchester United FYIs

Kick-off time: 8 PM, 24 May Wednesday

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Starting XI Prediction:    Villarreal      Manchester United

Team News:    Villarreal      Manchester United

Carragher sees this as a huge problem for United.

“He’s played so often that it’s difficult to judge how they are without him,” the Englishman said of his countryman.

jamie-carragher

“He’s been missing games and it hasn’t looked right. I think Eric Bailly is a player Manchester United fans want in the team, alongside Harry Maguire. I’m not so sure about that. He’s been really poor in the couple of games he came in, certainly against Liverpool.”

Carragher believes Bailly will get the start in Gdansk, alongside Victor Lindelof.

“(Axel) Tuanzebe could play as well, a younger player, but I think they’ll go with Eric Bailly…Lindelof, when he’s been with Bailly moves to the left side in the center back partnership, which doesn’t seem like a big jump, but I’ve been in that position myself being a right-footed player going on to the left, it’s never easy.”

Schmeicel, a true club legend, agrees, and he said that one thing making him extremely nervous for tomorrow is the fact that Harry Maguire is not playing.

“The whole uncertainty around the goalkeeping situation is not helped by that,” the Danish said. “The three options that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has, (at the central defender position) none of them are born leaders. They need somebody strong to talk to them all game, next to them to direct them to where they are to where the line is supposed to be.

“And where they are to be in terms of attacking what happens on the flanks. I am quite nervous about that aspect of Manchester United’s game.”

Regarding the uncertain goalkeeping situation that Schmeichel referenced, it appears that the No. 1 and No. 2 have flipped once more, at least for this game. It’s been confirmed by multiple reports that David de Gea will start this game in goal.

It will certainly be interesting to see how that all shapes out moving forward in the offseason and the summer transfer window.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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