Connect with us


Europa League: Erik ten Hag confirms two Man United starters vs Real Betis



Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes will start for Manchester United in their Europa League round-of-16 second leg against Real Betis.

Casemiro will serve a four-game domestic suspension for his straight red card against Southampton and he is a booking away from a one-match ban in the Europa League.

Fernandes is also a yellow card away from what would be a suspension for the quarter-final first leg, should United progress.

United have a 4-1 aggregate lead however Ten Hag confirmed the pair will line up in Seville on Thursday night: “They will play both because it’s a very good opponent. Last week we had a good result but we have to go again and you need your best players, because we need a result, we need a win, then we need our best team.

“It’s always serious, we will play our best team. Definitely, we have to put up a team that can adapt during the game, we know our opponent can because they are a good team, they have really good players, they have a lot of variations, so we have to be aware of that and we have to be ready to go and battle with them.”

Facundo Pellistri is in contention for a full United debut with Alejandro Garnacho and Antony both unavailable due to injury and illness.


Pellistri, 21, has made six substitute appearances, having waited more than two years to make his United debut after arriving from Penarol in a £9million deal.

“We will see tomorrow,” Ten Hag added on Wednesday. “We have some options, we have (Jadon) Sancho, we have (Anthony) Elanga, we have Bruno, so we have several options but Pelle is definitely also one and he is doing really well lately when he came on.”

Valencia remain the only team who have overturned a three-goal first leg deficit in the Europa League format, having recovered from losing 3-0 in Basel to win the second leg 5-0 in the 2014 quarter-finals.

If United progress to the quarter-finals, they would have nine games in 28 days in April and they are certain to enter the month without a number of key players through injury and suspension.

“I think we can manage,” Ten Hag added. “We have players, they can recover good between games, so we are very careful. I’m in contact with medical performance, so what a player can handle.


“Also, we have a lot of positions, we are double there, so we can mix it and when we are going to the final stages of the season we can pick our best team.”

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Continue Reading