Man Utd have four options to replace Bruno Fernandes as captain vs Liverpool

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After selecting his team to face Liverpool at Anfield this afternoon, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has another major decision to make. Who is going to deputise as captain for the suspended Bruno Fernandes? Express Sport picks out four realistic yet underwhelming options.

Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane has the experience and know-how to lead any team. Several years at Real Madrid, four Champions Leagues and a World Cup say as much.

But the 30-year-old may not have even started against Liverpool if Harry Maguire hadn’t suffered a groin injury against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

He’s fallen behind the ex-United skipper in Ten Hag’s pecking order and is widely expected to leave the club next year. So, is he actually a good candidate?

Varane’s performance will significantly influence whether the Red Devils take something from Anfield this weekend or suffer more disappointment on Merseyside.

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Luke Shaw

Luke Shaw is available despite joining Maguire in withdrawing against Bayern and could start alongside Varane at centre-back if not on the left.

The 28-year-old is reportedly part of Ten Hag’s group of leaders in the United dressing room and will, therefore, be high on the shortlist of Fernandes’ stand-ins.

Shaw’s fitness record remains a liability, though, and there could be a mental side-effect for United players if they fear their captain leaving the pitch during the game.

However, like Varane, he will be crucial if the visitors are to spring a surprise and prevent Liverpool from extending their lead at the Premier League summit.

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Scott McTominay

Scott McTominay has gone from hanging in the shop window all summer to becoming one of the first names on Ten Hag’s teamsheet this season.

In recent months, Scotland’s Euro 2024 qualifying hero has enjoyed a spike in his goal output, occupying similar spaces to Fernandes in and around the box.

He is the natural replacement in Fernandes’ role on the pitch and could inherit the armband too.

McTominay has worn it before and boasts a towering presence, and Ten Hag could show his latest sign of faith at Anfield.

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Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford has recovered from the illness that saw him miss the Bayern defeat and is in contention to feature against Liverpool.

The 26-year-old is also among the leadership group and has scored his fair share of goals in big games. But he has recently lost his starting spot to Alejandro Garnacho.

And Rashford’s refusal to take the armband permanently under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer irked the Norwegian boss, potentially indicating he doesn’t see himself in that role.

Ten Hag may also be reluctant to pile even more pressure on an out-of-confidence player with just two goals to his name all season.

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