Casemiro to start at centre-back for Man Utd's FA Cup semi-final against Coventry

  • Man Utd face Coventry in FA Cup semi-final on Sunday
  • Injury crisis means Casemiro starts at centre-back
  • Harry Maguire to partner Brazilian despite missing training during week
Casemiro will start in an unfamiliar role
Casemiro will start in an unfamiliar role / James Baylis - AMA/GettyImages

FROM WEMBLEY - Casemiro is expected to start at centre-back in Manchester United's starting lineup to face Coventry City on Sunday.

The Red Devils' season-long injury crisis ruled several of their senior defenders out of their trip to Wembley. Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane were all expected absentees, but youngster Willy Kambwala - as well as midfielders Mason Mount and Sofyan Amrabat - had to pull out in the days leading up to the match.

Harry Maguire has shaken off a minor injury and is fit to start despite missing several training sessions this week, and it appears he will have a new partner alongside him at centre-back in Casemiro.

The Brazil international has played exclusively in midfield so far this season, though he did briefly fill in at centre-back during the 2022/23 campaign. Reports in recent days have claimed Erik ten Hag has been training with Casemiro in defence in case of such an emergency.

Though he was impressive in his first season for United following his £60m move from Real Madrid, Casemiro's form - like of many of his teammates - has dipped this year. He was recently likened to someone competing at charity match Soccer Aid by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp.

Man Utd starting XI (4-2-3-1): Onana; Dalot, Casemiro, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka; Mainoo, McTominay; Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund

Coventry starting XI (4-2-3-1): Collins; Latibeaudiere, Thomas, Kitching, Bidwell; Sheaf, Eccles; Van Ewijk, O'Hare, Wright; Simms