Erik ten Hag reveals why Raphael Varane and Sergio Reguilon were dropped for Manchester derby
The pair were surprise exclusions as the Dutchman named a rogue side to take on the Treble winners.
After keeping a clean sheet against Copenhagen in midweek, Reguilon had been expected to start at left-back while Varane’s minutes have been managed carefully in recent weeks.
However, Victor Lindelof has been selected to start at left-back while Jonny Evans is making his first start in a Manchester derby since 2012.
It sparked fears that the injury-plagued pair – who have been named on the bench – have picked up fresh problems.
But, perhaps more worryingly for United fans, Ten Hag says the move is purely tactics.
Asked to explain his decision, Ten Hag said: ‘Tactics.’
Pushed on whether it was the ‘experience’ that Evans and Lindelof provide, Ten Hag again pushed back and said the decision was purely tactical.
‘Yeah but that’s not the argument to make the selection as I said it’s just tactics. That’s the answer.’
Christian Eriksen was another notable starter as Casemiro failed a late fitness test to drop out of the team.
‘He has often showed that from the start he is very good for example the Arsenal game,’ said Ten Hag.
‘You always think with Eriksen that he can be decisive with his distribution, his calmness on the ball, he gives options to players and that’s what you need against a good side like City who will press very strongly.
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