Ten Hag explains Pellistri selection
Erik ten Hag has explained why he has handed Facundo Pellistri a starting spot against Bayern Munich.
The right-winger has still to start a Premier League match but is in the XI for the UEFA Champions League Group A clash against the Bundesliga champions, with Scott McTominay making way in the only change from the weekend defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion.
It represents a major vote of confidence in the Uruguay international, who enjoyed a fine pre-season and has had three substitute outings for the Reds so far this term.
Ten Hag believes Canada star Alphonso Davies may be a real threat when getting forward down the left but the full-back could be tested by the South American's skills down the flank. Facundo did not start on Saturday partly because he had played at altitude for Uruguay in midweek, against Ecuador.
"Definitely [a big night for Pellistri]," he told MUTV. "It's not that we've given it to him [the chance]. He deserves it.
"I thought it was not the right time as he came back from a tough journey in South America. We already had two players in Casemiro and Licha Martinez, coming from that journey but I think he’s ready for it.
"Now he has to prove it," he asserted. "It’s a great game and also he actually fits tactically very good as they have a tough player there in Davies with a lot of speed. He is the one who can match that speed.
"That’s why we play him [to go up against Davies]. He can match him defence wise and he’s also capable to be a threat. He is a very good dribbler, Pellistri, and Davies is not a great defender so we expect something from him."