Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has explained why he’s picked Scott McTominay to replace the suspended Casemiro against Arsenal.

The Red Devils come into this afternoon’s clash against the league leaders at The Emirates without our influential number 18 after Casemiro picked up his fifth Premier League booking of the season in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.

With Fred in the running to replace the former Real Madrid in the heart of United’s midfield, the former Ajax manager has opted to go with McTominay over United’s number 17.

United’s number 39 has been handed his first top-flight start since the 6-3 hammering to Manchester City at the Etihad, at the start of October.

Scott McTominay has a “special role” to play against Arsenal, says Erik ten Hag

Crystal Palace v Manchester United - Premier League
Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners have only lost one Premier League game this season, and that was the 3-1 defeat to United at Old Trafford back in September.

With Casemiro on the bench that day and only coming on to play the last ten minutes, it was McTominay and Christian Eriksen who were the two-man midfield that started the win against the north Londoners at the Theatre of Dreams in September.

Explaining his decision to start McTominay, Ten Hag said: “We think he can fill in very well, we have a special role for him and I hope it will work, a little bit like last time.”

The Scotland international’s special role could well be in nullifying the threat Arsenal’s captain and chief creator Martin Odegaard will no doubt pose.

Fred was allocated a similar task when thwarting Kevin De Bruyne in last Saturday’s 2-1 win against City.

McTominay for Casemiro is the only change to the United starting line-up that drew at Selhurst Park.

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