Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag's team news for Forest trip

Friday 29 December 2023 12:30

Erik ten Hag has provided a brief update on his squad, ahead of Manchester United's final outing of 2023.

The Reds take on Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday (17:30 GMT), aiming for a 12th straight victory over the East Midlands side - and a fifth in this calendar year alone.

Boosted by the superb comeback win against Aston Villa on Boxing Day, Ten Hag will be hoping for another positive result to close out December.

Luke Shaw and Sofyan Amrabat missed the victory over the Villans through minor issues and it seems as though the pair will also be sidelined for this encounter, with Ten Hag suggesting that no injured players would be ready to return to the matchday squad.

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“So, it will be a similar squad as we had against Villa,” he told reporters, before assessing Forest’s recent form under new boss Nuno Espirito Santo.

“You see with them [Forest], the reaction when the new manager is coming in, you see the spirit. We have to be ready for that and it's always about us, but be aware of it.

“They have the right spirit and they built the confidence but we did as well, so we have to continue in the performance.”

Diogo Dalot and Raphael Varane returned to the XI after suspension and illness respectively at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, while Marcus Rashford and Christian Eriksen were also promoted to the starting line-up.

There was a youthful element to the squad, with teenage Academy graduates Alejandro Garnacho, Dan Gore, Willy Kambwala and Kobbie Mainoo all granted time on the pitch.

Hannibal, 20, also came on as a late substitute, but Amad was not included as he works his way back to full match fitness following a long injury lay-off.

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Although he won’t feature in Nottingham, Mason Mount has returned to the grass at Carrington, following the similar recent progress of fellow long-term absentees Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez.

While Victor Lindelof is recovering from surgery, Ten Hag is hoping that the injury concerns that have affected us so significantly in the past few months will start to ease during the first month of the new year.

“I think in mid-January, we expect many players back,” he added.

“Mason, Casemiro, Martinez, [Tyrell] Malacia [and] we expect Harry Maguire [back] of course. We expect many players to return in January.”


Nuno Espirito Santo also says it’s the same situation in terms of injuries for Saturday’s hosts as it was for their Boxing Day fixture - the surprise win at Newcastle United.

Forest will therefore once again be without forward Taiwo Awoniyi and defenders Felipe and Serge Aurier.

Willy Boly will be free to return after sitting out the 3-1 victory at St James’ Park through suspension, but midfielder Ibrahim Sangare was booked in the north-east and is banned for this encounter.

Espirito Santo guided Forest to victory in his first away game in charge and it was just a third victory on the road for the Garibaldi since they were promoted back to the top flight in 2022.