Why Sofyan Amrabat and Amad start for Manchester United vs Arsenal

Erik ten Hag speaks to MUTV pre-match.
Erik ten Hag has outlined why Sofyan Amrabat and Amad are starting. -Credit:MUTV.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has said he is "expecting a lot" from Sofyan Amrabat after handing him a rare start against Arsenal at Old Trafford this afternoon.

The Moroccan has been included in the starting line-up for the first time since the 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup at the end of February. He is poised to join forces with Kobbie Mainoo and Scott McTominay, who is sporting the captain's armband, in midfield.

Christian Eriksen started the 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday night but has made way to accommodate Amrabat's incision. Casemiro is set to start at centre-back once again.

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Ten Hag, speaking ahead of kick-off, has confirmed he has made the decision to reinstate the Fiorentina loanee to the starting line-up because he will strengthen United's chances of winning the ball back in midfield.

Ten Hag told MUTV: "We are forced to make some changes, but also we have some choices to make. We have brought in Amrabat and Amad.

"Arsenal are a team who are strong in possession, so we have to make interceptions there and make the middle a bit stronger. We need our out-of-possession game to be very aggressive and anticipating. I am expecting a lot from him."

Amad, who has replaced Antony on the right wing, is making his first start for United since returning from his season-long loan spell at Sunderland last term.

Explaining why he is worthy of an opportunity, Ten Hag added: "He has the X-Factor. Over the last few months, he has given so much energy in training, given quality in training and has made good progression. He deserves a chance."