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Manchester United defenders Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane are set to be unavailable for at least the club’s next two matches.

The two defenders, who have been the preferred central defensive partnership at Old Trafford this season, are not expected to return to Manchester United until next week.

While Martinez and Varane were always set to miss Wednesday’s Carabao Cup round of 16 match against Burnley, they are now expected to be unavailable for the club’s return to Premier League action against Nottingham Forest on December 27.

They could potentially return to first-team duties when United take on Wolves at Molineux on New Year’s Eve.

Maguire expected to start for Man Utd

Their absence provides an opportunity for England international Harry Maguire to impress United manager Erik ten Hag.

Maguire lost his place in United’s starting line-up earlier this season but will be hoping to regain it after impressing for England at the World Cup.

He is expected to start at centre-back for the Red Devils against Burnley alongside Victor Lindelof.

The Telegraph have also reported that Ten Hag is using a team of specialist mind coaches in an “attempt to limit the threat of Manchester United’s World Cup players suffering any mental hangover from the tournament”.

Ten Hag has recruited Dutch company Talent Academy Group (TAG) in an effort to reintegrate players quickly with domestic football making a swift return after the World Cup.

A senior performance coach with TAG, Rainier Koers, is said to have attended United’s winter training camp in Spain earlier this month to begin familiarising himself with the squad.

Meanwhile, Ten Hag is said to have consulted “executives and experts from Tour de France cycling teams for advice on optimum sleep patterns and nutrition” in an effort to gain a competitive advantage during the winter break.

United are currently fifth in the Premier League, three points off the top four having played a game less than fourth-place Tottenham.