Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has explained that he thinks a decision on whether or not to start Casemiro is probably the biggest selection dilemma facing Erik ten Hag ahead of the Manchester Derby.
Man Utd take on Man City in this weekend’s big game, and Chadwick has told CaughtOffside that he’s strangely optimistic as his old club have had a decent record at the Etihad Stadium in recent years when they’ve not been favourites for the game.
Still, this will clearly be a huge test for Ten Hag, who appears to be making some progress with the Red Devils after a difficult start, though with plenty of work still to be done to catch up with Pep Guardiola’s side.
Chadwick feels there is a big decision to be made on whether or not to start Casemiro, with the big-name summer signing offering so much in the way of experience for matches like this.
At the same time, though, the partnership of Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen has worked very well recently, and there’s a risk to changing a winning team.
“I think the biggest decision Ten Hag has to make is with Casemiro,” Chadwick said. “This is a massive game, but it’s the kind of big game he’s got a lot of experience playing in.
“But McTominay has performed very, very well alongside Eriksen, so if everyone’s fit I’d imagine the manager would be tempted to stick with the team that’s played so well in the last few games. I think they’ve earned the opportunity to keep that run going.
“Obviously having Casemiro and Ronaldo on the bench, those are great options, but I think since the game’s away from home, Rashford in particular needs to start over Ronaldo up front – his pace on the break could be crucial in a game where City are likely to have most of the ball.”
Overall, Chadwick says he is feeling excited ahead of the game, though he also insists this will be Ten Hag’s biggest test so far.
“I’m excited about the game, United have had a good record at the Etihad in recent years,” the ex-Red Devil said. “This is now a real test of where the club is at.
“Arsenal have obviously had a great start, but you’d probably have to say that Manchester City are the best team in the league this season, and this game could be a real signal in terms of where United are currently at.
“I think it could be a good thing for United to there as underdogs, as we’ve seen in some recent Manchester Derbies. I’d love to see them get a result, but you also feel you’d take a draw on the day.”