Ten Hag provides team news for Everton cup tie
Erik ten Hag has provided an update on his Manchester United squad, ahead of Friday night's Emirates FA Cup tie with Everton at Old Trafford (kick-off 20:00 GMT).
The Reds are looking for our seventh consecutive win across all competitions and we haven't even conceded a goal in the four games since the resumption of the campaign following the World Cup.
Tuesday's 3-0 victory over Bournemouth followed clean-sheet successes against Burnley (2-0), Nottingham Forest (3-0) and Wolves (1-0) and Ten Hag will be looking for the recent momentum to continue as he experiences the world's oldest cup competition for the first time as a manager.
United's quest for a first success in this competition since 2016 begins with a boost in terms of team news, as Anthony Martial has been declared fit to face the Toffees.
The Frenchman was withdrawn after 69 minutes of Tuesday's game with Bournemouth, but the issue is not serious enough to keep him out of Friday's game as he continues to build fitness following a stop-start 2022.
Our no.9 shone in the early stages of October's 2-1 win at Goodison Park, setting up Antony's opening goal before having to be withdrawn with a back complaint, and Martial has a good record when playing the Merseysiders, scoring seven times against them.
“He’s available but it’s different,” Ten Hag told club media in his pre-match Q&A. “He came off but he didn’t play that much in the first half of the season so we have to bring him slowly back into 90 minutes.
“He can play 90 minutes but [if we’re playing him] in a row of games we have to protect him so he can have the strength, the power to deliver over 90 minutes, every third day.”
Antony himself was out injured on Tuesday night, according to Ten Hag, but he was pictured training at Carrington the following day and could be in contention to play.
Midfielder Donny van de Beek is sidelined and the extent of the nasty looking issue he suffered during the first half of Tuesday’s game remains to be seen.
Diogo Dalot and Lisandro Martinez gained their first minutes on the pitch after the World Cup against Bournemouth, and may find themselves in Ten Hag's thoughts for a starting berth, while Scott McTominay returned to the squad albeit as an unused substitute having missed a couple of outings through illness.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been impressing at right-back, in the absence of Dalot, who suffered an injury during Portugal's quarter-final defeat to Morocco, while Martinez's role as the left-sided centre-back has been occupied by Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw in recent games.
Shaw returned to his more familiar role this week, scoring a brilliant goal to make it 2-0 in the meeting with the Cherries, but Tyrell Malacia is available on that side and Erik has plenty of options across the pitch should he wish to rotate, ahead of Tuesday's Carabao Cup quarter-final against Charlton Athletic.
“We have so many games to cover,” Erik added. “Sometimes we will rotate but also have a look at the opponents we will face.
“Tactical-wise, we can pick teams but definitely we also look to the physical load and the mental load for the players in the squad and the games we have to face.”
Part one: Erik's pre-Everton press conference
Press conference part one | Ten Hag discusses goalkeepers, Rashford and more, before the Toffees' visit...
EVERTON TEAM NEWS
Under-pressure Toffees boss Frank Lampard appeared before the media earlier on Thursday afternoon to preview his side's visit to Old Trafford. Many of the questions directed to the former Chelsea midfielder surrounded the club's recent Premier League form, although he did give an update on right-back Nathan Patterson, who has been ruled out for six weeks with a medial ligament injury.
Checks will also be conducted on Anthony Gordon and Dominic Calvert-Lewin prior to the game, with the Merseysiders' attackers struggling recently due to illness and fatigue respectively. Forward Ellis Simms has been recalled from his loan spell at Sunderland.
Former Red James Garner is a longer-term absentee, due to a lower back problem, while Andros Townsend has also recently suffered a setback in his bid to recover from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Midfielder Amadou Onana is available once again, having served a one-match suspension during Tuesday's 4-1 home defeat by Brighton and Hove Albion.