Explained: Why Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw are missing for Manchester United’s clash with Nottingham Forest

The pair were nowhere to be seen in the matchday squad

Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Luke Shaw is absent through illness, admitting that he is unsure whether he will be back for the Weekend’s FA Cup clash with Reading.

The Red Devils are looking to bounce back from a rare defeat against Arsenal in the Premier League with a Carabao Cup semi-final first leg clash with fellow Premier League side Nottingham Forest, who themselves are unbeaten in their last four games.

And Ten Hag was expected to name a strong squad for the tie, with United targeting a first trophy since 2017, when they lifted the League Cup and the Europa League double under Jose Mourinho.

But, while it was for the most part a first choice side named by the Dutchman, there were two glaring omissions from the matchday squad, with neither Luke Shaw nor club captain Harry Maguire present among the 18 named for the trip to the City Ground.

And on Luke Shaw, Ten Hag simply explained that “He is ill”, before adding that it was a situation that will need to be monitored day by day, casting doubt on his availability for the clash with League One side Reading in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday evening.

“Difficult to say how that develops. We have to wait to see how that develops in hours and days”, he explained.

Meanwhile, Maguire is absent through suspension, having picked up yellow cards against both Aston Villa and Charlton Athletic in previous rounds, leaving Victor Lindelof to partner Lisandro Martinez in the heart of the United defence.

In better news, however, Brazilian Casemiro has returned to action after being forced to sit out the defeat to Arsenal through suspension.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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