Erik ten Hag

Team news for Brighton v United

Thursday 16 May 2024 16:30

Erik ten Hag held his final Premier League pre-match press conference of the season on Thursday afternoon.

It has been a quick turnaround for the Manchester United manager, who saw his side beat Newcastle United 3-2 less than 24 hours ago, to ensure European qualification remains in the balance going into the final day.

While the Emirates FA Cup final provides a potential route into the Europa League, a place in the Conference League can still be confirmed via seventh position in the table - but only if we better the Magpies' result on Sunday.

Eddie Howe's side visit Brentford as the Reds travel to Brighton, and Ten Hag will hope to have more players available, after a trio of successful returns in midweek.

Bruno Fernandes put in a magnificent display after two games out, while Lisandro Martinez and Marcus Rashford played well as late substitutes, helping United get over the line after their own recent absences.

Raphael Varane said farewell to the Old Trafford crowd, after revealing earlier this week that he will depart the club this summer, and Ten Hag said that both the Frenchman and Victor Lindelof have returned to the grass at Carrington as they work hard to be involved in the final furlong of 2023/24.

“I can't say in this moment [if anyone will return on Sunday] but we are working to bring players back,” he began.

“We have seen yesterday Licha Martinez [is back], he had a good session now as well. There were also others on the pitch like Rapha Varane, Victor Lindelof, they returned on the pitch. We have to see how far [off a return] they are on Sunday.

“Tomorrow we have off, Saturday we have training, and then we will see what we have.”

It seems that Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw will miss Sunday’s game.

The boss added that, although it’s not in his remit to comment on whether the pair will be picked in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the European Championship, the current plan is for Maguire to be available for the cup final.

Shaw’s involvement in the all-Manchester clash is up in the air, though, as the defender has suffered a complication in his recovery.

“For England, I can't say, it's not up to me. But for the cup final, we're working on [it],” Erik added.

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90 in 20: United v Newcastle

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“I think Harry Maguire, I think it's a fair chance that he will be available. We plan [for] him.

“Luke is more complicated. In this moment, let's say it's a less chance that he will make it. But there is still a very small, reduced chance.

"He had a setback, now we have to find out how far [from a return] he is."

Anthony Martial and Mason Mount took part in the post-match lap of appreciation at Old Trafford on Wednesday, but Martial hasn't featured since early December, while Mount picked up a minor issue in training which ruled him out of the encounters with Arsenal and Newcastle.

Fans show appreciation for Martial and Varane Video

Fans show appreciation for Martial and Varane

Supporters at Old Trafford stayed behind to thank Anthony Martial and Raphael Varane after full-time...


The home side have issues in defence and are anxiously awaiting news on captain and centre-back Lewis Dunk, who suffered a knee injury during Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.

“I hope for him it is not a big problem,” said Roberto De Zerbi. “I don't know if he can be available for Sunday. But more important for him is the possibility to be available for [the Euros]. It's a knee problem.”

Dutch pair Jan Paul van Hecke and Joel Veltman were also missing for the clash with the Blues, with the former already ruled out of Sunday’s game by De Zerbi.

Joao Pedro and Valentin Barco returned to the squad in midweek after one-game absences, but Pervis Estupinan, Evan Ferguson, Jack Hinshelwood, Solly March, James Milner and Kaoru Mitoma are all injured.

While veterans Milner and Danny Welbeck have extended their deals with the south-coast club, this will be Adam Lallana’s final game as an Albion player, as he departs in the summer.