Ten Hag explains tactical changes for Leeds clash

Sunday 12 February 2023 13:15

Erik ten Hag has detailed why he has made three changes to his Manchester United line-up for our second match in succession against Leeds United.

The boss has adjusted the defence, with Harry Maguire and Tyrell Malacia introduced, at the expense of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.

The surprise move means Luke Shaw will operate at centre-back, with Diogo Dalot continuing on the right.

Erik admits the decision was down to three main factors - rotation, familiarity and tactics. The fact England internationals Maguire and Shaw know the occasion and each other's game well was in his thinking.

Ten Hag: Why I've revamped the defence Video

Ten Hag: Why I've revamped the defence

Erik has given an intriguing explanation for his line-up changes...

"Rotation is one part of it," he told MUTV's Stewart Gardner at Elland Road about leaving out Varane and Martinez. "They've had a lot of games to cover - with the World Cup and now already back and a lot of games coming after each other and a lot of games ahead as well. The other part is also tactics.

"They [Shaw and Maguire] know each other, they know also the game and the rivalry between Leeds and Man United. They have to project it on the whole team. I expect leadership from them today, definitely."

In a separate interview with Sky Sports, the manager said: "Harry is just one for one. Rapha played a lot of games through this whole season. With Rapha, with Licha both playing so many games, of course, also Harry, who is a big part of our squad. He is ready, he played very well in his training, he is training very well. So, that is why [he plays]."

The other change sees Sancho makes his first start since the draw with Chelsea in October, following his equaliser against Leeds on Wednesday.

"I think Jadon Sancho in a good place, always has to start," added the boss. "Rotation, of course, but he's a magnificent player with the qualities when he's good and it's up to him. He will contribute to the team and in our creative planning."


Leeds: Meslier; Ayling (c), Koch, Wober, Firpo; Adams, McKennie; Gnonto, Harrison, Summerville; Bamford.

Substitutes: Robles, Chilokoa-Mullen, Kristensen, Montero, Aaronson, Greenwood, Gyabi, Joseph, Rutter.

United: De Gea; Dalot, Maguire (c), Shaw, Malacia; Fred, Sabitzer; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst.

Heaton, Lindelof, Martinez, Varane, Wan-Bissaka, Iqbal, Elanga, Garnacho, Pellistri.