Erik: How United will adapt without Bruno

Friday 04 November 2022 13:30

Erik ten Hag says he has to decide how best to replace Bruno Fernandes for Manchester United's trip to Aston Villa, with the Portuguese midfielder rendered unavailable.

Fernandes picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in our 1-0 win against West Ham United last Sunday, meaning that he has to serve a one-match suspension in the Premier League.

And after Thursday's Europa League away win at Real Sociedad, the Dutchman was asked how his team will fare without his no.8 this weekend.

Ten Hag's press conference: Villa (A) Video

Ten Hag's press conference: Villa (A)

See what Erik said about Sunday's game against Aston Villa, when speaking to the media after our match in Spain...

“We know that we have to replace Bruno, that is quite clear,” Ten Hag said, in his pre-match press conference for Sunday's game.

“We have to see how we replace him, and we have to think about that, and it is short so soon after this game [against Real Sociedad].

“I have one night to think about that.”

Bruno has been galvanised by Ten Hag’s management this season, as have many other Reds, so his absence is undoubtedly a blow for the boss.

However, the return to fitness of Donny van de Beek will surely go some way to softening that blow.

The Dutch midfielder, who played under Ten Hag at Ajax, started in San Sebastian on Thursday alongside Bruno, and could be called upon once more this weekend, this time to fill the void left by the Portuguese maestro.

Of course, Christian Eriksen can play in a more advanced position too, while Ten Hag has also utilised Marcus Rashford in the no.10 role on occasion this term.

United's assignment in the Midlands could be a challenging one, given the fact it will be the first match for new Villans boss Unai Emery, with whom the Reds have history from his Villarreal days.

The line-ups selected by Emery and Ten Hag will be announced at 13:00 GMT on Sunday, one hour before kick-off.