‘You need football’: Erik ten Hag explains team selection as two players are absent and Varane returns to XI
Erik ten Hag has explained his team selection for Manchester United’s final Champions League group-stage fixture this evening.
The manager has made two changes from the weekend’s dismal defeat to Bournemouth; Raphael Varane replaces Sergio Reguilon, meaning Luke Shaw will revert to his usual role at left-back, and the Reds’ top goalscorer in the competition, Rasmus Hojlund, has come in for Anthony Martial.
Elsewhere, Sofyan Amrabat has again been preferred to youngster Kobbie Mainoo, while Bruno Fernandes will oversee his last match in action until December 23 due to his one-game Premier League suspension.
Martial and Marcus Rashford are omitted from the matchday squad due to illness, leaving Ten Hag few options for firepower off the bench. Responsibility for contributing up front tonight falls on the shoulders of Hojlund, Antony and Alejandro Garnacho.
Ten Hag on United’s starting XI
Speaking to TNT Sports prior to kick-off, the Dutchman was quizzed on his starting 11.
“Together with Harry [Maguire], he will be playing in the centre-half position. Especially against Bayern, we need to defend very strongly, and he is a very good defender.”
Ten Hag added: “I think the last game we played with Sofyan there [in midfield]. He is defensively very strong and good in interceptions and duels. You need football as well. Kobbie was tremendous with pressure against Everton in and out of possession, he can do the job I have a lot of trust in him.”