SEVILLE, Spain — Erik ten Hag said he is ready to risk Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro against Real Betis on Thursday despite the threat of suspension.
Manchester United‘s midfield pair are one booking away from missing the Europa League quarterfinal first leg should Ten Hag’s team progress.
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United lead Betis 4-1 from the first leg in Manchester but Ten Hag insists Fernandes and Casemiro, who has been hit with a four-game domestic ban following his red card against Southampton on Sunday, will play in Spain.
“They will play both because it’s a very good opponent,” Ten Hag told a news conference on Wednesday. “Last week we had a good result but you need your best players, we need a result, we need a win.”
United are without Antony after the winger missed the trip to Seville because of illness. Alejando Garnacho is also sidelined after suffering an ankle ligament injury during the goalless draw with Southampton but Ten Hag says there is hope the teenager will be able to return before the end of the season.
“It will take weeks so it’s a serious injury,” added the United boss. “A serious injury once again after Christian Eriksen. “He will be back for the end of the season.
“He has to deal with it, deal with the setback and be back for the end of the season. We can win a lot so he has to be back ready as soon as possible.”
Garnacho is the latest United player to suffer a long-term injury after Eriksen and Donny van de Beek. Anthony Martial has also missed the majority of the campaign and Ten Hag said injuries have prevented him from naming his first-choice XI in all but one game this season — a 2-1 win over Manchester City at Old Trafford in January.
“When you see all season we had some setbacks, every time we dealt with it,” Ten Hag said. “It’s about the players who are available and every time there’s a team on the pitch who deals with it.
“In one game we had the squad available totally and I can pick my team for the tactical perfect approach and it was against Man City at home this season and every other time it is one player suspended, injured or illness.
“We have to deal with it well but Arsenal all the time their squad is totally available.”