Ralf Rangnick: It will be tough to choose our back four against Atletico Madrid

Ralf Rangnick has stated that he would struggle to choose his central defenders for Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Atletico Madrid.

Raphael Varane has been hampered by injuries this season, and the center-back was recently sidelined by a positive COVID-19 test, but he rejoined the squad against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

The Frenchman is set to line up with club captain Harry Maguire in the heart of the defense against Diego Simeone’s side in the Champions League.

Rangnick, though, has indicated that Victor Lindelof is also a strong contender for a starting spot, with the game set at 1-1 following the first leg in Spain.

“Yes, it’s very important (Varane’s return) but, with Victor Lindelof, we have also won quite a few games and played well and had quite a few clean sheets,” Rangnick told reporters.

“Right now, we have top players for the center of defense and it will not be so easy for me to take that decision for tomorrow.

“Also, when Victor came on in the last 10 to 15 minutes, he played well, but, as I said, it’s good to have Rapha fully fit again and it’s also good that we looked after him and he looked after himself, not playing too early again. Now he seems to be fit on a regular basis and can play for us regularly.”

Lindelof began at right-back in the first leg of the last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano but was eventually substituted by Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the second half.

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