Erik ten Hag

Team news for Blades trip

Friday 20 October 2023 12:55

Erik ten Hag appeared before reporters for the first time in almost a fortnight on Friday, ahead of our return to Premier League action.

The Reds travel to Bramall Lane on Saturday in the 20:00 BST kick-off, looking for successive top-flight wins for the first time in 2023/24.

Paul Heckingbottom's side have taken just one point from eight games since coming up from the Championship last season and Ten Hag has a 100 per cent record in charge of Manchester United against newly promoted clubs.

Casemiro has been ruled out of the trip to South Yorkshire, with the Brazilian remaining in his home country for a little longer after picking up a knock on international duty.

But there is good news for Erik as he welcomes defenders Raphael Varane and Sergio Reguilon back after injury, while Sofyan Amrabat is also available, despite missing both of Morocco's games.

Training highlights: Getting sharp for the Blades Video

Training highlights: Getting sharp for the Blades

Training highlights | See which recently absent Reds took part in our preparations for Sheffield United away...

“Rapha Varane is back, so I think, especially in the backline, I’m very happy with Rapha back and Sergio back,” Ten Hag told MUTV’s Mark Sullivan on Friday.

“That’s very good news, of course. It’s disappointing that Casemiro picked up an injury but it’s not too bad.

“I’m sure and confident he will be back for the next games, so very short notice. The good thing is also that Sofyan Amrabat is available.”

Victor Lindelof is fine to feature following the terrible incident involving Sweden in midweek.

The Scandinavians’ Euro 2024 qualifier with Belgium in Brussels was abandoned after a terror attack in the city claimed the lives of two Sweden supporters.

“He dealt well with it and, of course, he is exhausted after this experience because they didn't sleep overnight,” said Ten Hag.

“They then returned but, just yesterday, he was back in training and he dealt with the situation. Our thoughts are, once again, with Victor and the victims and relatives, but we are looking forward to the game and Victor has energy and is ready to play.”

The Reds still have some issues in defence and Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are all set to miss the trip.

Amad is another player who has been missing for a while now, but Kobbie Mainoo has been pictured back in group training after three months out with the issue he suffered while playing against Real Madrid on tour.


Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom will definitely be without two key defenders in Chris Basham and John Egan after leg surgery, while Tom Davies is also now on the treatment table following a training ground injury.

Heckingbottom spoke to the media on Thursday and, while George Baldock is a bigger doubt due to a heel problem, he and Ben Osborn could return to the squad.

“George is getting closer, Oz has been back in doing a few days with us this week. [We've got] One or two coming back, which is good,” Heckingbottom said.

On the possibility of a return this weekend, he added: “I’d like to think so... George maybe not, Ozzy yeah. We are low on numbers so, even if there is a chance for the bench for the last 15 minutes and it is not going to harm them, we will be using them.”

The Blades manager did not provide updates on William Osula, Rhys Norrington-Davies and Max Lowe, who have all missed games recently.