Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag set to start four warriors vs Man City
Man City boss Guardiola previews Premier League derby at Man Utd
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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is getting what he wants at Old Trafford. The Red Devils started the season as a club in crisis after two consecutive defeats but, now, are starting to come good. And they’ll be hoping to continue their improvement under the Dutchman when they lock horns with Manchester City this afternoon (12.30pm).
Manchester United couldn’t have suffered a worse start, with defeats to Brighton and Brentford casting a cloud during the early embers of the season.
But, since then, they’ve proceeded to lose just three times across all competitions.
United have won 11 of their last 12 matches across all competitions and, should they beat City, will move to within just a point of their fierce rivals.
It promises to be a huge occasion at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils even daring to dream of winning the Premier League title.
Express Sport will now take a look at four warriors Ten Hag is expected to start as he aims to mastermind a derby day win.
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Lisandro Martinez was written off as too small to play in the Premier League upon arriving from Ajax back in the summer.
Yet he’s silenced his critics with some storming displays in the time since, winning round fans in the process.
Martinez recently won the World Cup with Argentina and was moved by the warm ovation he received upon returning to United.
The 24-year-old is likely to start the back alongside Raphael Varane.
His tenacity and footballing intelligence will be key when it comes to nullifying the threat of City frontman Erling Haaland, who has scored 21 league goals already this season.
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When United signed Casemiro, there were fears the Brazil international was simply using the club to secure one last payday.
Fast-forward to now, and it’s clear he’s been £60million well spent.
Casemiro is a gladiator, giving his all on the pitch every time he steps out onto it. Having been overlooked in favour of Scott McTominay for the last derby, Ten Hag won’t make the same mistake twice.
Speaking about the Samba star on Friday, Ten Hag said: “That is quite obvious (an impact). I said it from the beginning, this team, needed a No.6. Control, holding midfielder, he is so important. He is the cement between the stones.
“Defence, knows his position, points others into position, winning balls, duels mainly, in possession he can speed up the game. We are really happy to have him on board.”
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Christian Eriksen isn’t a conventional warrior. He’s no powerhouse, that’s for sure.
But the way the United star has excelled since his cardiac arrest in 2021, for both the Red Devils and Brentford, is stunning.
Many thought Eriksen was destined to never play football again when he collapsed during a match between Denmark and Finland at Euro 2020.
He could have thrown in the towel yet Eriksen instead opted to keep his footballing dream alive and has gone from strength to strength in the time since.
The Denmark international has clocked up eight assists so far this term, three more than Marcus Rashford.
Rashford endured the worst season of his career as United toiled under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick last term.
Having missed a penalty for England in the Euro 2020 shootout defeat to Italy, many thought he was a fading force.
How wrong they were.
Rashford has knuckled down, drowned out the noise and become the player United always knew he could become since Ten Hag’s appointment in the summer.
He’s bagged 15 goals this season, three times the amount of Anthony Martial and Antony.
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