Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has explained his decision to start Luke Shaw against Erling Haaland and Manchester City on Saturday in the Premier League.
Man United extended their home winning run to 10 games following their hard-fought 2-1 win over Man City at Old Trafford last weekend.
Ten Hag decided to start Shaw at the heart of the defence alongside Raphael Varane despite having the likes of Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez fully fit for the game.
The England international has started more as a centre-back than as a left-back since club action returned in late December and Manchester United have won all games Shaw started as centre-back.
Haaland outclassed the likes of Martinez and Varane in the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium, scoring a hat-trick in the first half but the return leg added to a list of games the Norway international would want to forget.
Shaw thwarted Haaland’s chances of impressing at Old Trafford and helped limit Man City to a single shot on target in the entire game. Of course Haaland couldn’t have a shot on target and many claimed Shaw had him in his back pocket.
It’s safe to admit that Erik ten Hag‘s decision to pair Shaw alongside Varane worked really well and the Dutchman has revealed why he made such a tactical move.
“When you analyse the profile of Haaland and the combination with De Bruyne it was the right decision – Luke has the physical power to compete with them and tactical view to make the right decision and technical skills to play there,” said Ten Hag.
“I think [against Man City] it matched really well [Shaw at centre-back], but I think in other games he can contribute even more on the left in the wide positions so it’s a tactical choice and we can see from game to game what we need.”
Manchester United will face Crystal Palace on Wednesday night in the Premier League and everyone will find out whether Luke Shaw will maintain his centre-back role or move to his preferred left-back role against the Eagles.