Erik ten Hag faces a crucial decision ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday night, where three changes are imperative. The Red Devils are in dire need of a victory after a string of disappointing performances, including a recent 4-3 loss to Bayern Munich.
Ten Hag’s squad selection for the Champions League Group A opener at the Allianz Arena raised eyebrows, and as some key players near a return, Express Sport identifies three individuals who started against Bayern and should make way at Turf Moor.
1. Victor Lindelof
Victor Lindelof, alongside Lisandro Martinez, has struggled to find cohesion at the heart of Ten Hag’s defense since Raphael Varane’s early exit during United’s 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest in August. With Varane’s return to training this week, his inclusion in the lineup against Burnley seems likely.
United’s defense has been porous, conceding 14 goals in their first six fixtures, mainly due to Varane’s absence. His presence would bring much-needed quality and composure to the backline, making it challenging for Lindelof to retain his place. There’s even the possibility of Harry Maguire making a return if he has recovered from his recent ailment.
2. Christian Eriksen
Manchester United’s midfield has been a significant concern this season, with opponents frequently bypassing the aging pair of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen. Eriksen’s performance against Bayern was particularly lackluster, warranting a spot on the bench.
The return of Mason Mount to training provides an alternative, as he could make his comeback against Burnley. Scott McTominay may also be considered for a starting role after being dropped against Bayern. Alternatively, Hannibal Mejbri could seize this opportunity.
While Sofyan Amrabat’s return is imminent, it may be too soon for him to start, although he is making progress in his recovery during training.
3. Facundo Pellistri
Facundo Pellistri received a significant opportunity from Ten Hag against Bayern, marking just his second start since joining the club in 2020. However, he struggled to make an impact against Alphonso Davies, and his chance to impress against Burnley might be limited.
Alejandro Garnacho is eager to reclaim his spot in the starting lineup and is the logical choice to replace Pellistri. This change is even more apparent with Antony and Jadon Sancho still unavailable, offering Garnacho the chance to shine.