Man Utd boss Ten Hag has three problems to solve for the Sheriff’s clash

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag will have several important issues to address as he selects his team to face Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League on Thursday night. The Red Devils only need one point from the tie to advance to the round of 16 of the competition.

Despite enjoying two impressive results last week, beating Tottenham before salvaging a point against Chelsea, the mood at Old Trafford has been strange. Cristiano Ronaldo’s tantrum left a stale taste in the mouths of many, and the Ten Hag issue has made headlines.

Injury problems also appear to be mounting and questions will now be raised about the depth of United’s squad and whether they have the players capable of stepping up when it matters most. Ten Hag’s side take on West Ham on Sunday in what is an important match in which previous managers have made a mistake before.

But the Europa League tie remains the most important hurdle to tackle in the short term.

Express Sport breaks down three talking points that Ten Hag will have to answer against Sheriff.

Is Ronaldo coming back?

After Ronaldo left Old Trafford before the final whistle against Spurs, many questioned whether we would see the Portuguese striker again before his rumored departure in January. Although Ten Hag hit the former Real Madrid star with a game one and well before insisting that he will be in Thursday’s matchday squad.

The manager must now decide how important a role the 37-year-old will play, given that the Europa League is the competition in which Ronaldo appears to have been the preferred choice. He gives the five-time Ballon d’Or winner a start. He would sweep things under the rug, although he could also indicate that Ronaldo “has gotten away with it”. It is an issue that few coaches have had to deal with so publicly.

Replacing Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane limped off the pitch at the weekend in tears after suffering an injury that has jeopardized his chances of winning the World Cup. Albeit short-term, he too has split the Frenchman’s trusty partnership from Ten Hag with the summer signing of Lisandro Martinez.

Harry Maguire is about to return to form, and it could be a decision between whether the club captain returns, fueled by having a point to prove, or Victor Lindelof.

Lisandro Martinez risk

Argentina international Martinez is just one booking away from having to serve a one-game suspension and Ten Hag may need to decide if the defender is worth resting. With Varane sidelined, Martinez will be heavily relied upon in the Premier League and will need to ensure injury does not affect United ahead of the World Cup.

If United can secure a point against Sheriff then they are booked for the next round, although a win will give them the chance to snatch top spot in their group from Real Sociedad. Therefore, Ten Hag must carefully weigh which game he would be willing to risk having his star suspended.

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