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Erik ten Hag has explained two Man United XI decisions that fans have questioned



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Credit: Sky Sports

Erik ten Hag has explained why he has benched Rasmus Højlund and why Casemiro is in defence as Manchester United face Newcastle in the Premier League.

Manchester United will look to recover from back-to-back defeats as they welcome Newcastle United to Old Trafford on Wednesday evening.

Erik ten Hag‘s last two Premier League outings saw his side lose 4-0 to Crystal Palace and 1-0 against Arsenal. The club is now eighth in the table and has suffered a record 14th defeat in the league campaign.

Ten Hag, speaking to Sky Sports, has explained why he has decided to bench Rasmus Højlund for the tie and field a front three of Alejandro Garnacho, Bruno Fernandes, and Amad Diallo – something a few fans have questioned.

“We want to keep him remaining fresh,” Ten Hag explained on the Danish striker. “It’s a long season for all young players, and you see, sometimes his energy levels are dropping; we need to keep him fresh. We have Brighton and the FA Cup final left. So lots to fight for.”

Further, Ten Hag was asked if Casemiro’s starting at back is due to the lack of other options, such as Lisandro Martínez and Willy Kambwala, who are both on the bench.

“Exactly, that is the explanation behind [it]. But also, Casemiro played some good games lately. He had also some downfalls. Sunday, of course, there was one moment where he didn’t look that great.

“But all over, I think he played a decent game as well. We know he can do the job. He showed that in the past so often. So he has to do the job.”

Manchetser United starting XI: Onana, Dalot, Casemiro, Evans, Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Amrabat, Mainoo, Amad, Fernandes, Garnacho.

Subs: Bayındır, Martínez, Kambwala, Eriksen, Collyer, Forson, Rashford, Antony, Højlund.

Newcastle United starting XI: Dúbravka, Livramento, Schär, Burn, Hall, Anderson, Bruno Guimaraes, Longstaff, Murphy, Isak, Gordon.

Subs: Pope, Dummett, Schar, Joelinton, Ritchie, Barnes, Almiron, White, Murphy