Ten Hag urges Man Utd to prepare for test from ‘mad’ Everton

Erik ten Hag has warned Manchester United to expect a stern test from fired-up Everton on Sunday in the aftermath of their 10-point deduction.

Ten Hag’s side travel to Goodison Park for Everton’s first match since they were plunged into the Premier League relegation zone following the sanction for breaking Premier League profitability and sustainability rules.

Everton are set to appeal against the verdict, with Toffees boss Sean Dyche vowing his players would not be derailed.

United’s trips to Merseyside are always volatile occasions and Ten Hag is well aware that his team will face the wrath of both the Goodison faithful and Dyche’s team.

“It’s always about us, I can see the opposition and I can see they are mad, but then finally it’s about us,” he said on Friday.

“If they are mad and that’s their fuel, we have to match those standards. When we match the standards we have a very good chance to win the game.”

Beaten in three of their past five games in all competitions, United are boosted by the return to training of England left-back Luke Shaw, sidelined since August.

Goalkeeper Andre Onana has overcome a knock suffered on international duty with Cameroon, but Ten Hag said a decision would be taken on Saturday about whether Denmark striker Rasmus Hojlund can feature after his muscle strain.

United’s trip to Everton comes just days before a crucial Champions League group stage tie at Galatasaray, where a defeat would eliminate Ten Hag’s men.

That would be a brutal blow for under-fire Ten Hag, whose team suffered the worst start to a season for a United team since 1962/63, losing eight of their first 15 games.

There have also been suggestions of a fallout between Ten Hag and former France centre-back Raphael Varane, who was reportedly frustrated by the Dutchman’s decision not to play him in the derby defeat against Manchester City.

But Ten Hag denied there was any issue.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about with these rumours,” he said.

“He’s a very important player, but there’s internal competition and that is how it should be at a top club as we are. There is internal competition.

“When you have to decide on two players, who do brilliant, Rapha Varane and Harry Maguire, you have to make a choice for the position.”

Sixth-placed United are the lowest scorers in the Premier League’s top 10, with just 13 goals in their 12 matches so far, but Ten Hag is adamant his forwards will hit their stride.

“Our players are capable of scoring goals and there will come a point when they do,” he said. “We are fifth in the league in creating chances. We have to step up and we will do that.”



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