Erik ten Hag explains team selection and Harry Maguire absence vs Tottenham

Manchester United are aiming to further cement their place in the top four this evening when they face Tottenham Hotspur in London, with Erik ten Hag’s men searching for a fourth consecutive Premier League win.

Spirits are high at United following the highly dramatic FA Cup semi-final penalty shootout win over Brighton but a trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will be a stern test for Ten Hag’s men.

Tottenham recently sacked caretaker manager Cristian Stellini and replaced the Italian with former midfielder Ryan Mason, who takes charge of the side for the first time this evening.

Ten Hag had a number of selection worries going into the game, with Bruno Fernandes’ fitness being the main worry after he twisted his ankle at Wembley.

The midfielder was seen on crutches and wearing a protective boot in the aftermath of the game but somehow, he has miraculously recovered to start the game, keeping up his incredible record of not missing a single game for the Reds through injury since he joined the club in 2020.

Harry Maguire missed the game against Brighton due to suspension and the expectation was that the England star would feature in some capacity against Tottenham but now, it has been revealed that he misses the game due to an injury sustained in training.

Speaking ahead of the game, Ten Hag explained his thinking behind the team and also confirmed that Maguire had sustained an injury.

“Anthony Martial, we have to manage him, his load” the manager told MUTV.

“Another thing is Jadon is doing very well. Anthony Martial also but you have to choose. We can choose and also from a tactical perspective so for today we make this choice. We can change during the game but for Sunday we can do it different.

“We have to have more or less four or five players who all can do a great job but the number of games we have to play and we have in our legs already, we have to do it, we have to rotate a bit.

“Of course he (Bruno Fernandes) is ready. It’s Bruno Fernandes. He’s tough, he takes responsibility, he wants to play and of course we’re happy he’s there because he’s a massive player for us. He has a big impact in every game, he’s our captain so we’re really happy.”

Asked specifically about Maguire’s absence, Ten Hag insisted that United have the depth to make sure the Reds skipper will not be missed.

“Training injury but we have proved we can sort it out so I’m convinced we can do it today as well,” he said.

A win over Tottenham would see United potentially climb into third in the Premier League whilst also having a game in hand on Newcastle United.

The top-four chasing pack also have quite the gap to make up on United as the final four weeks of the season are played.

More Stories Bruno Fernandes Erik ten Hag Harry Maguire Manchester United Premier League Tottenham Hotspur