Manchester United are getting ready to, hopefully, secure their passage into the next round of the Europa League as Erik ten Hag’s men have made the trip to Spain to face Real Betis.
The Reds have one foot in the quarter-finals after a dominant performance in the first leg at Old Trafford, with goals from Marcus Rashford, Antony, Bruno Fernandes and Wout Weghorst providing the perfect springboard.
Ten Hag has named a strong side for the return leg, with only a select few of his starters offered the chance to rest up for this weekend’s Premier League action.
Casemiro, who is set to serve a four-match suspension domestically, starts the game but the Brazil international needs to tread carefully as he is one yellow card away from missing the next Europa League game.
Facundo Pellistri also starts after a number of impressive cameos from the bench and perhaps the Uruguay international will be used more now after an untimely injury to Alejandro Garnacho.
Speaking ahead of the game, Ten Hag stressed the importance of leaving Betis with a win and also explained the thinking behind his team selection.
“Win the game,” Ten Hag told MUTV when asked what his message to the players was.
“It’s that. We are Manchester United, we have to win every game. That is always the approach, we want to do it in a proactive way, as usual.
“Then we don’t have to get distracted, change approaches, no. Go front foot, take the initiative of the game in and out of possession.”
Facundo Pellistri has had to wait for his golden hour since he joined the club in 2020, with the Uruguay international not making his senior debut until earlier this year. In Andalusia, he has been handed his first start for the club – over 800 days since signing for the Reds.
“First, they (youngsters) know the way of play,” Ten Hag said when asked about Pellistri’s inclusion. “They know the rules and principles of our game. Of course, technical, we expect from him (Pellistri) today, runs behind the line, the defending line, because there is a weakness for them.
“We have to test them there and he can do the job.”