Friday, May 24, 2024

Ten Hag hopeful of Man Utd signings despite ´very good´ basis to squad

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 May 2024

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Erik ten Hag wants Manchester United to “make new improvements” in the upcoming transfer window, though he believes the basis of the current squad is “very good”.

Ten Hag’s second season at Old Trafford has failed to live up to the standards set in his maiden campaign, which saw United end their trophy drought by winning the EFL Cup while finishing in the top four of the Premier League.

United head into their game away at Crystal Palace on Monday in eighth, 13 points off Aston Villa in fourth, and European qualification of any sort now looks a real battle.

With the transfer window opening soon, Ten Hag hopes the club makes additions, though he also feels the current squad has promise.

“I’m now going into my fifth [transfer] window,” Ten Hag told reporters. “We have to make new improvements to the squad. But there is a base of this squad that is very good.

“The injuries had a big impact, but we are still below the levels of the expectations Manchester United have, so we have to catch up.”

Harry Maguire, whose future is reportedly uncertain, was on Sunday ruled out for the rest of the season due to a muscle injury.

Palace, meanwhile, have breezed to Premier League safety since the arrival of Oliver Glasner in February, currently 14th in the table and 14 points clear of 18th-placed Luton Town.

The Eagles are unbeaten in four, and Glasner is hopeful his side can keep that run going as they look to finish the season strongly.

“We hope that we can keep this momentum,” Glasner said.

“It is up to us how we work during the week. They look ready, I could see how focused they are in training.

“We’re four games unbeaten and the goal is staying unbeaten until the end of the season.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Crystal Palace – Jean-Phillipe Mateta

Mateta has scored in each of his five home Premier League appearances under Glasner (seven goals), having only netted in five out of his first 37 home matches for Palace beforehand (five goals). The last player to score in his first six home appearances under one manager in the competition was Alan Shearer for Kevin Keegan in 1996-97 (first nine). The former Lyon striker will likely provide Palace’s main goal threat on Monday.

Manchester United – Bruno Fernandes

Fernandes is an injury doubt for Monday’s game at Selhurst Park, and his absence would be a huge blow. Fernandes created 31 chances in his six appearances in all competitions for United in April, seven more than any other Premier League player. He created nine chances in each of his last two Premier League appearances (vs Sheffield United and Burnley), becoming the only player on record to create nine or more chances in consecutive matches (2003-04 onwards). If he is ready to go on Monday, he will prove key to United’s chances of victory.

MATCH PREDICTION – MAN UTD WIN

Palace won 1-0 against United at Old Trafford earlier this campaign – the Eagles have never completed a league double over the Red Devils.

United have shipped 77 goals in 47 games in all competitions this season, their most in a season since 1977-78 (80). Their current ratio of conceding (1.64 goals-per-game) is their worst since the 1962-63 campaign (1.75 per game).

Meanwhile, United won eight of their first 11 away Premier League games against Palace (three draws) but are winless in their last three (two draws, one defeat).

Palace have won both of their last two Premier League games at Selhurst Park, last winning three in a row at home in the competition in October 2022.

United have both scored and conceded in each of their last eight Premier League away games – only once have they had a longer such run in the competition, doing so in nine consecutive games between May and November 2001. They are favourites to win Monday’s game, but they may have to score several to get the three points with how leaky they currently are at the back.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Palace: 29.4%

Man Utd: 41.8%

Draw: 28.8%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

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