Ten Hag discusses team news for Palace

Tuesday 17 January 2023 13:30

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has admitted there are concerns over Anthony Martial's fitness, after he was withdrawn at half-time of the derby victory over City.

The French forward was substituted at the interval, although many observers expected Marcus Rashford to make way after appearing to hurt his hip. Antony entered the fray and Rashford soldiered on to notch the winner, following an assist by another of Erik's introductions, Alejandro Garnacho.

It would suggest Martial is a doubt for Wednesday's trip to Crystal Palace, and we must hope Rashford is fit for the Selhurst Park clash, although Wout Weghorst has completed his loan move from Burnley and is available to increase our attacking options.

"I hope to avoid that he [Martial] was getting injured [by bringing him off]," said Ten Hag. "He was complaining, so that's why he also didn't train in the week and why he was a question mark.

"He and we both decided that he had to start because his start would be so important in this game [against City] with his pace. Especially with pressing, he is really good and he is a really big element in our pressing, I needed that before half-time.

"We decided, and he decided as well… he begged to start because I knew the start would be so important in this game. Especially because he is really good with his pressing and he is a really big element in our pressing, and he did that really well before half-time.

"But also you saw he was not capable to go 100 per cent and that's what you need. Also, to avoid him getting injured, we took him off, and it also had an impact on our game, a negative impact after half-time."

The manager, speaking in the aftermath of the derby triumph, said he was still drawing up his game plan for Palace and is mulling over using Weghorst during the fixture.

"I have to think about that," he said. "First, we will settle down for this game and make the right conclusions, then we will make a clear plan. I have to see about their players, as we have already faced Palace in pre-season and I know how their team is.

"The total plan I don't have now and I haven't constructed it. From this point on we can construct and prepare the team in the right way."

United are definitely without Jack Butland, who is ineligible, while Donny van de Beek has been ruled out for the season, and Jadon Sancho has been on the sidelines. Diogo Dalot was unavailable for the derby due to injury.

Part one: Erik's pre-Palace press conference Video

Part one: Erik's pre-Palace press conference

The boss discusses Martial's fitness, Weghorst and Bruno's position, ahead of our trip to London...


Eagles boss Patrick Vieira is still awaiting an update on Joachim Andersen, who was forced off in the first half of their narrow 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday. James Tomkins and Chris Richards are likely replacements if the centre-back does not make it.

Vieira also has some decisions to make in midfield but former Red Wilfried Zaha is probably going to be one of the main sources of danger and Tyrick Mitchell returned from suspension at Stamford Bridge.

Nathan Ferguson and James McArthur are absentees.