Erik ten Hag could hand out a Manchester Unidebut in Europa

เวลา:2023-03-16  คลิก:

Man United manager Erik ten Hag could be brave enough to ring the changes against Real Betis.

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Sandwiched between two disappointing Premier League results, Manchester United took a giant stride towards the quarter-finals of the Europa League last Thursday evening.

Just four days after being embarrassed by Liverpool at Anfield,Uniteddelivered a first-class response and took out their frustrations on Real Betis, recording an impressive 4-1 win in the first leg of their last-16 showdown at Old Trafford. AfterMarcus Rashfordhad seen his first-half opener cancelled out by Leicester City loanee Ayoze Perez, United rallied in the second half, putting the La Liga side to the sword.

Goals from Antony,Bruno Fernandesand a first at Old Trafford for Wout Weghorst sealed a routine victory, meaning they will arrive in Spain for Thursdays second leg with one foot already in the last-eight.

READ MORE:Alejandro Garnacho issues injury update

While nothing can be taken for granted in football, particularly in European competitions, United will be confident of seeing the job through and keeping their hopes of clinching a famous cup treble this season alive. The Reds have already scooped the Carabao Cup this season and face Fulham in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Sunday.

Although United managerErik ten Hag, just as he set out in his first interview after arriving at the club last summer, has taken each and every cup match this season seriously, consistently naming a strong XI, you sense that he can afford to break the terms of his own philosophy in Seville. Not only do the Reds boast a three-goal lead in the tie, they are also still in with a chance of playing every fixture possible this season having already won the Carabao Cup and still being alive in both the FA Cup and the Europa League.

The Reds fixture schedule since the resumption of the campaign after the World Cup has been gruelling, featuring 23 matches in less than three months. Ten Hags squad has been pushed to the maximum of both their physical and mental capabilities, meaning the upcoming international break will be a welcomed breather for those not in line for a call-up by their respective nations.

But with Sundays clash with Fulham marking the opportunity to book a second semi-final date and a second trip to Wembley of the season, you could argue that Ten Hag would be better off resting some of his more senior figures for the clash with the Cottagers and dishing out opportunities to those who have not featured as much as they would have liked this season against Betis. Though it is hard to imagine the Dutchman making wholesale changes across the board, just to ensure United are not put at risk of a complete capitulation and seeing the tie flipped on its head, five or six changes, for example, would not go amiss.

If he does choose to make a flurry of alterations, few deserve an opportunity to prove their worth more thanFacundo Pellistri. The Uruguayan winger, who played at a World Cup before he had even donned a United shirt in a competitive fixture, is still waiting to make a full debut for the club, more than two years after arriving in M16 from Penarol.

The patience he has shown ever since arriving at Old Trafford is applaudable. He has made just six substitute appearances since joining the club, two of which have come in the past week.

He made an immediate impact after coming off the bench against Betis, playing a key role in Weghorsts goal, ahead of storing 16 minutes under his belt against Southampton on Sunday. He has made a positive impression in each of his six cameo roles, meaning he is now in a position where he deserves to be rewarded with a first start.

Antony, when fit and available this season, has been an almost permanent fixture on the right-wing and is likely to be needed against Fulham. With that said, Pellistri strikes as being a shoo-in to start against Betis, especially with Alejandro Garnacho facing a spell on the sidelines.

He has made a notable impact in all of his previous appearances and he offers something different to the Reds other wide players. Unlike Antony, for example, he refrains from cutting inside at every given opportunity, instead choosing to be direct and prepared to take risks by running at defenders and whipping in a cross.

He has shown tremendous levels of professionalism by remaining so patient and he now deserves to be rewarded with a first United start.

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Erik ten Hag could hand out a Manchester United debut in Europa League fixture vs Real Betis

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