Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has vowed to play his ‘best team’ against Real Betis on Thursday night, despite holding a 4-1 aggregate lead from the first leg.
United put one foot in the quarter-finals with last week’s win at Old Trafford thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford, Antony, Bruno Fernandes and Wout Weghorst.
It gives Ten Hag’s team a comfortable advantage heading to the Benito Villamarin in Seville, but the United boss is taking no chances and has insisted he won’t rotate heavily as might have been expected. That will include Fernandes and Casemiro, despite both being at risk of suspension.
Yellow cards will be wiped at the end of the quarter-finals in an attempt to minimise the possibility of players being suspended for the final of UEFA competitions through accumulation.
Should either Fernandes or Casemiro get a yellow card on Thursday, they would be suspended for the first leg of the quarter-final – assuming United don’t fall to a miraculous comeback this week. But it appears to be a risk that Ten Hag is prepared to take.
“They will play, both. It is a very good opponent. Last week we had a good result, but we need to go again. We need our best players and our best team,” the Dutchman explained.
“It is always serious and we will play our best team. We have to put up a team that can adapt during the game. We know our opponent can, as they have really good players. We have to be ready to battle with them.”
Having starred in the first leg, Antony will miss the game through illness. However, Ten Hag has namedropped both Anthony Elanga and Facundo Pellistri as additional options. The latter put in a top display off the bench in the first leg, making Weghorst’s goal with a darting dribble.
On this edition of The Promised Land, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders and Rob Blanchette discuss the possibility of Lisandro Martinez covering the suspended Casemiro in midfield, Antony’s recent form, Jadon Sancho, Harry Kane and more. If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!