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Erik ten Hag: We play against City, not Haaland

Updated on: 02 October,2022 09:44 AM IST  |  London

United boss Erik ten Hag plays down Erling threat; confident of Red Devils’ ability to succeed in Manchester derby today

Erik ten Hag: We play against City, not Haaland

Manchester City’s Erling Haaland (left) during a training session in Manchester recently. Pic/Getty Images

Erik ten Hag’s faith in Manchester United “warrior” Lisandro Martinez will be put to the test as Manchester City striker Erling Haaland aims to extend his red-hot streak in Sunday’s derby.

Haaland has made a blistering start with City since joining the Premier League champions from Borussia Dortmund for £51 million ($57 million) in the close season.

Revival to the test

With 14 goals in nine games in all competitions for City, the Norway striker, playing in his first Manchester derby, will put United’s recent revival to the test. Only once has Haaland been denied a goal in the Premier League this season, but United manager Ten Hag might have the solution to taming the prolific 22-year-old. 

Also Read: Erik ten Hag: Ronaldo needs to work hard

Erik ten HagErik ten Hag

United have won all five games in which Ten Hag has played Martinez and Varane together at the heart of the defence. Ten Hag calls the Argentine a “warrior”, lauding his “attitude and fighting spirit”. But he knows keeping Haaland off the scoresheet at the Etihad Stadium will be a tall order if Martinez does not get enough help from his teammates.

Game plan, execution key

“We don’t play against Haaland, we play against Man City,” said Ten Hag. “We are convinced of our capabilities. If we act as a team, we can beat our opponents. We need to look to ourselves. We have to perform at our best, with a good game plan. Then it is about execution. We will have to do 100 per cent.”

Haaland’s predatory instincts give City an even more imposing look than last season, when they won the Premier League title despite lacking an elite central striker.

Also Read: Utd’s Ronaldo looking forward to working with Erik ten Hag

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