Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag explains decision to drop Marcus Rashford vs Chelsea

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag explains decision to drop Marcus Rashford vs Chelsea

The Red Devils return to west London needing a reaction after last Saturday’s dismal 1-1 draw against relegation scrappers Brentford.

A victory against Chelsea would move Ten Hag’s side six points behind Tottenham Hotspur in fifth and eight behind fourth-place Aston Villa with a game in hand.

But defeat or even another draw would all but end the club’s hopes of retaining their Champions League status ahead of Sunday’s daunting assignment against Liverpool.

Ten Hag’s decision to omit Rashford from his starting lineup at Stamford Bridge raised eyebrows, considering the importance of the fixture for United’s season and potentially his job.

The Dutchman has confirmed that he is resting Rashford for the Liverpool clash amid a busy schedule at the business end of the campaign.

“I decided for Marcus Rashford on the bench for rotation to keep him and the team fresh through a busy period with another big game on Sunday,” Ten Hag told TNT Sports.

He added: “We have two big games in three days, we need everyone. We need the bench, and lately, we have had a strong bench.

“Recently players from the bench have impacted, Mason Mount. It is a huge impact and it is a good impact to have Rashford on the bench.”

Antony for Rashford is one of three changes from last week’s disappointment at Brentford. Harry Maguire has replaced the injured Victor Lindelof, while Scott McTominay has dropped out for Casemiro.

Andre Onana starts in goal, with Maguire partnering Raphael Varane in between Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot in defence.

Casemiro joins Kobbie Mainoo and Bruno Fernandes in midfield, with Antony lining up alongside Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund across Ten Hag’s front three.

Rashford is joined on the bench by Amad, who missed the trip to the Gtech Community Stadium through suspension.

The 21-year-old saw red for his celebration after scoring the 121st-minute winner to dump Liverpool out of the FA Cup quarter-finals before the international break.

Mason Mount remains on the bench despite netting his first United goal against Brentford. Ten Hag has confirmed he is managing the former Chelsea midfielder’s minutes to avoid another injury.

Tom Heaton, Willy Kambwala, Jonny Evans, Sofyan Amrabat, Christian Eriksen, and McTominay make up the Dutchman’s bench options.