Erik ten Hag explains his Manchester United team selection against Manchester City

Erik ten Hag has explained his Manchester United team selection against Manchester City in what will be his first taste of the Manchester derby.

The former Ajax manager has made one change to the side that beat Sheriff Tiraspol 2-0 in the Europa League in United’s last game before the September international break.

Marcus Rashford comes into the side to replace Cristiano Ronaldo having recovered from the muscle injury he picked up against Arsenal at the start of last month.

Having missed England’s UEFA Nations League games against Italy and Germany, the Premier League’s September Player of the Month is fit to start at the Etihad Stadium.

Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking on Rashford’s inclusion, Ten Hag told BBC Sport: “He trained well, returned to team training and we took the right steps. He is fit.”

The Dutchman also gave his thoughts on Pep Guardiola’s side not having Spain international Rodri available: “A huge impact on their game, in many aspects. They will miss him but still an XI that has really good players on the pitch.”

The 52-year-old was asked on selecting the same starting line-up that beat Arsenal and whether he thought there were similarities between City and the Gunners.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Ten Hag said: “This is a different team – although they have similarities – but it is about us and developing our game. We need a win, a result and it can bring confidence.

“We want to play our game but that is the battle. Manchester City want to dictate the game, they play with a high intensity but we want to bring them out of their comfort zone. It is about the battle on the field.

“We have to play the game, play our best and when we follow the rules and principles we have a chance to win the game. It is going to be hard but we are convinced of the right result. The process has to be good, with two top teams the details make the difference.”

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.