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Man City v Man Utd: Erik ten Hag facing a derby dilemma – Danny Murphy analysis

By Amanda Caroline  •  October 01, 2022  •  23

Manchester United’s midfield has played a big part in the recent resurgence by Erik ten Hag’s side – but it is absolutely crucial he gets that area right at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Ten Hag has to decide whether he keeps both Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes in there against Manchester City, or chooses a more defensive-minded set-up and goes with two proper holding players this time.

With a player as good as Casemiro waiting in the wings for his first league start, the temptation must be to partner him with Scott McTominay to give extra protection to his defence.

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But if Ten Hag does that and leaves one of his more creative players out, then if United lose he will be asked why he changed a winning team and didn’t go for it more.

Manchester United midfielder Casemiro
Casemiro has played more minutes for Brazil (153) than he has managed in the Premier League (51) since he signed for Manchester United in August. He has made three substitute appearances for United in the league and played another 135 minutes for the club across two Europa League appearances (one start, one as a substitute)

I think Ten Hag will stick with Eriksen and Fernandes because of how well they’ve been playing but, if he doesn’t change anything and loses, then he will face similar questions.

People will say why bring in Casemiro and not use him in a game like this?

United’s dilemma has partly been created by Scott McTominay’s brilliant form, on top of Eriksen and Fernandes’ performances.

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