Ten Hag explains team selection at Fulham
Erik ten Hag's starting XI to face Fulham this afternoon shows six changes from the Manchester United team that beat Aston Villa 4-2 in the Carabao Cup on Thursday night.
The Reds are in London for the last instalment of club football before the World Cup begins, and while it is only mid-November, it is already our 14th Premier League game of this 2022/23 campaign.
At the back, David De Gea returns in goal following Martin Dubravka's midweek debut, while Tyrell Malacia comes in at right-back for the suspended Diogo Dalot.
With Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Brandon Williams still unavailable, the young Dutchman, who normally operates on the left, has been called upon to slot into the opposite berth.
"We've tried it in training, and also in some games, he did very well there, so that's the reason why [Malacia is selected at right-back]," Ten Hag explained to Sky Sports, prior to kick-off.
In the centre of defence, Lisandro Martinez is reinstated alongside Victor Lindelof, with Harry Maguire named as a substitute this time around.
Christian Eriksen partners Casemiro in midfield, while captain Bruno Fernandes moves into a more central role having occupied the right-hand side against Villa on Thursday.
Anthony Elanga comes in for Donny van de Beek with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial completing the attacking trio.
Alejandro Garnacho is the only out-and-out attacking player available from the bench, as the boss confirmed Antony, Jadon Sancho and Ronaldo were all not 'close' enough to returning for this fixture.
"But we are happy," he insisted.
"Anthony Martial, today is available, also Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga, so we have a strong front line and behind [we have] Bruno Fernandes, so, happy."
Ten Hag also explained why our substitutes bench features eight players - two of which are goalkeepers - as opposed to the usual nine.
"At this moment, sure [resources are stretched]. We have no more players available who can help us today."
And the Reds will be met with familiar faces at Craven Cottage this afternoon, with former midfielder Andreas Pereira named in Marco Silva's line-up, and Daniel James among the substitutes.
Ten Hag is expecting an 'aggressive and compact' home side, but believes it is important for us to pick up three points heading into a lengthy break.
Fulham: Leno; Reid, Diop, Ream, Robinson; Cairney (c), Palhinha; Willian, Pereira, Wilson; Vinicius
Substitutes: Rodak, Adarabioyo, Duffy, Chalobah, James, Onomah, Mbabu, Harris, Sekularac.
United: De Gea; Malacia, Lindelof, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Eriksen; Elanga, Fernandes (c), Rashford; Martial.
Substitues: Bishop, Dubravka, Maguire, Fred, Van de Beek, McTominay, Garnacho, Iqbal.