Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will be part of the matchday squad for tomorrow’s Europa league tie with Sheriff Tiraspol at Old Trafford.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference ahead of the game, the manager also confirmed Raphael Varane will be absent from all pre-World Cup games with injury.
Ten Hag was asked whether Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Donny van de Beek would be available for tomorrow’s match, having returned to training.
“After the training together with medical I will take a decision,” he said.
Christian Eriksen also took part at the press conference, which could indicate his participation in the match.
Ten Hag was asked whether Facundo Pellistri is expected to play a part in the side going forward.
“He was injured a long period, Atletico Madrid a bad injury,” he said.
“We have some young players in offensive positions, they have to convince me to be in the team, and he is one of the options.”
Ten Hag was also asked about Harry Maguire and whether the time off will have had a positive effect on him.
“It’s always about performance, about presentation,” the boss answered.
“I think when he’s reflecting his qualities, there’s no problem. He is a great player, great capabilities to do the job for us.”
Ten Hag was asked whether Raphael Varane’s reaction to injury means that the World Cup is a distraction for players, who have one eye on that tournament and avoiding injury.
“Focus is so important because if you don’t have the right focus the risk of getting injured is even more,” he said.
“For every game we have to be good and well prepared. It’s an important block for us.
“We have to stay in the right mood, the right focus, and do everything in the spirit of the team.
Asked whether he agreed with other managers that players should be rested ahead of the tournament, he replied:
“It’s a wrong idea. Because they only have one week, and then the World Cup starts. You have to keep the right fitness, the right shape. It is not optimum but that is something the national managers have to deal with. So keep in the rhythm…this is the way to go.”
“In that first half against Chelsea we bring two less players in front. We have to get players from the back. We were too defensive, we have to get players in front.”
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