Why Facundo Pellistri starts for Manchester United vs Real Betis

March 16, 2023

The Man Utd line up has been confirmed ahead of their Europa League second leg against Real Betis on Thursday evening.

Erik ten Hag believes Facundo Pellistri can exploit a tactical weakness in the Real Betis side for Manchester United.

United hold a three-goal cushion as they face the La Liga side in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday evening.

Pellistri, 21, will make his competitive full debut in the match, having only ever appeared as a substitute for the club at first-team level before.

It’s a moment that has been two-and-a-half-years in the making ever since he joined from Penarol back in 2020 and the young winger will be eager to make up for lost time.
Pellistri impressed from the bench in the 4-1 win over Betis a week ago, and speaking ahead of the match, Ten Hag explained why he has finally been rewarded with a start.

“First, they (youngsters) know the way of playing,” he told MUTV. “They know the rules, the principles of our game. Tactically, we expect from him today, runs in behind the line, the defending line, because there is a weakness, a weak spot from them. So we have to test them there and he can do the job.”

United have also made two changes in defence with Harry Maguire and Tyrell Malacia starting the game, and Ten Hag has faith they will be able to help their side progress to the quarter-finals.

He added: “We know with them too are excellent players. They have proved already so many times. Also in training, both done very well and we can trust them. They have to do the job today.”