Erik ten Hag will take part in his first pre-match press conference of the new season as Manchester United prepare to face Wolves.
Back-to-back defeats against Brighton and Brentford was a nightmare start to life at Old Trafford for Erik ten Hag, however, the Dutchman was able to turn the club’s fortunes around.
A cup final victory against Newcastle in the Carabao Cup provided United with their first piece of silverware in six years whilst an eventual third place Premier League finish ensured Champions League qualification for the upcoming season.
Now, Ten Hag is prepared to open his second season in England against a Wolves side that have just replaced their manager. Julian Lopetegui left the Midlands side with former Bournemouth boss Gary O’Neil, who exceptionally kept The Cherries safe from the drop last term.
Ahead of the opening fixture of the Premier League season, Ten Hag will have a ton of questions sent his way during his pre-match press conference on Friday.
The United boss will face the media three days ahead of the clash at Old Trafford, and there are three topics expected to be discussed.
The missing strikers: Hojlund & Martial
Of course, despite signing a new striker in the form of Rasmus Hojlund, Man United will be without a striker for their opening game of the season.
Hojlund will miss out on the opening weeks of the campaign as United look to deal with a slight back issue that their new man has.
Questions on the Denmark international are inevitable. Not only about his playstyle, but also how soon Ten Hag expects him to be available.
On the other hand, French forward Anthony Martial has returned to team training but failed to make an appearance during pre-season.
The potential of the striker being involved in the matchday squad will also be discussed. However, the more important question posed to Ten Hag will certainly be about Martial’s future in the United squad following a season struck with injury after injury.
Starting the season strong – unlike last year
As touched on earlier, last season did not have the greatest start. Ten Hag was still getting to know his surroundings and his squad.
Now, a year in at United, the Dutch boss is certainly more prepared for the start of his second season and he will likely be asked about different factors in relation to this.
Whether it be what he’s learned from the poor start last term, or the improvements the squad has made in that time, it will be an interesting talking point for the United manager to discuss.
Dalot vs Wan-Bissaka: The right-back dilemma
Finally, the boss will be quizzed on his starting team. Most of the eleven picks itself but there are certainly some head-scratching decisions for Ten Hag to make.
The position which has caused the biggest headache amongst the fanbase — and expectedly for Ten Hag — is at right-back.
Neither Diogo Dalot or Aaron Wan-Bissaka had outstanding pre-season campaigns. That has perhaps made picking who starts against Wolves an even more difficult decision to make.
They both had excellent halves of last term – Dalot the first and Wan-Bissaka the second.
Ten Hag will most likely be asked about the battle between the pair for the upcoming season and who is in his mind to start on Monday, although, his answer to the second part of that question is expected to be vague.
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