Rob Edwards offers sympathies to Erik ten Hag
A loss against Luton today would be a real problem for Erik ten Hag, who is already under a great deal of pressure after United’s turbulent start to the season.
Speaking ahead of the match, Luton boss Rob Edwards offered his sympathies to Ten Hag.
He said: “I have got a lot of empathy for people in this role and I imagine the pressure for the person at that football club [United] is 10/20/50-fold from what I feel in this role.
“Everyone has an opinion towards one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“I have a lot of respect for him and that job he did last year where he won a trophy. He’s got the quality to turn it around.”
Ten Hag denies any rift between him and Varane
Raphael Varane will not start during today’s game against Luton.
Questions have been raised over whether a rift has started to develop between the defender and his manager, but Erik ten Hag denied those claims stating his decisions to leave Varane out were tactical.
‘Absolutely not,’ he said. ‘As I said, it is about tactical reasons why I chose these partnerships. I think Harry and Jonny did well.
‘Harry didn’t play a lot last year, so I was very happy with Rapha’s performances. I have always been happy with his performance.
‘But in this moment, Harry is playing very well and there is internal competition. I always said Harry Maguire can do the job — and now he is showing he can do the job.’
Luton are warming up!
Interestingly, Luton and Man United last played against each other in the league back in 1992.
Luton scured a 1-1 draw against United that day.
But United have been victorious in five of their last six meetings in all competitions.
Rashford’s 250th appearance
It’s a big day for the Man United forward, who will make his 250th appearance for the club.
Erik ten Hag will be hoping he gets on the scoresheet today, with Rashford having failed to pick up where he left off this season, after finding the back of the net 30 times during the 2022-23 campaign.
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Rashford, who was sent off during their 4-3 loss by Copenhagen in midweek.
He also faced criticism from Erik ten Hag after he was pictured in a night club following United’s 3-0 defeat to rivals Manchester City.
But Ten Hag has repeatedly backed the forward to recover his excellent vein of form…
We’ll concentrate on what we do’ – Rob Edwards
Rob Edwards has named an unchanged side ahead of today’s match but claimed he did have to think hard about who started after Luton’s performance against Liverpool last week.
‘There were still one or two difficult decisions. The performance and the lads that started that game gave us a great base to go again today
Speaking on today’s tactics, he said: ‘There’s a similar gameplan today compared to last week.
‘We are going to need to be very resilient and defend really well. Be brave on the ball and it’s important we don’t give it back straight away.
‘I think today it’s a case of concentrating on what we do and do it really well.
‘We’ll concentrate on what we do and go and be brave. We’ve worked so hard to be here and we’ve got to try and enjoy this occasion but we do that by competing well.’
‘We have to be over it’ – Ten Hag
Aaron Wan-Bissaka was seen walking into the changing room earlier, but will not start today at Old Trafford.
Erik ten Hag has just confirmed that the defender ‘is ill’ and will not feature.
He added: ‘Victor Lindelof will play in the centre [of defence].’
Speaking on the mood after their 4-3 loss to Copenhagen, he said: ‘We have to be over it. You cant stay in that mood. We left it behind and moved on.
‘We took the positivies, we were very good in the first 35 minutes of the game and want to take that into the premier league.
On today’s game plan he said: ‘It’s important to have quality on the ball and set the tempo but have a good defensive transition.’
Onana: ”Of course things are not going how we want but we are working’
Speaking on whether the side’s confidence levels had dropped, Andre Onana siad before the match: ‘Of course we are confident and we will always be confident we are Man United the biggest club in the country.
‘Of course things are not going how we want but we are working.
‘We are facing a difficult situation now but in time I am confident.
United have failed to win in their last two home games and Onana called on the fans to help give them an edge today.
‘We really need them at the moment because we all know the situation with the club. Having them will help them.
‘We have to be good on the ball and be more dominant in front of the goal. This game is very important to us.
Ten Hag on Evans injury
So Jonny Evans will miss out on today’s match. Ahead of the game, Erik ten Hag said he was unsure of when Evans would be back.
On defender Jonny Evans’ thigh injury: “We don’t have a full assessment. He is out for tomorrow but I can’t say for next week [with Northern Ireland].”
Luton starting XI
Rob Edwards has made no changes to his side following on from their 1-1 draw against Liverpool.
Luton starting XI: Kaminski, Kabore, Osho, Lockyer, Mengi, Doughty, Barkley, Townsend, Morris, Ogbene.
Manchester United starting XI
Erik ten Hag has made two changes following on from their 4-3 defeat to Copenhagen.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Jonny Evans have both dropped out of the starting XI with Sergio Reguilon and Victor Lindelof coming in to replace them.
Evans has been ruled out of today’s match with a muscle injury.
Manchester United XI: Onana, Lindelof, Maguire, Reguilon, Dalot, McTominay, Eriksen, Rashford, Fernandes, Garnacho, Hojlund.
United are in the house!
Team news is coming up in the next few minutes!
Will Harry Maguire start again today?
Luton looking to end winless run
Having not claimed victory in their last five appearances, Rob Edwards’ side will certainly be hoping to get a victory to help lift their season.
After troubling Liverpool last week at Kenilworth Road, Luton will be a dangerous opponent today for United.
After that game, Edwards spoke of his anguis at the missed opportunity to seal the win against Liverpool.
‘Of course you want to win the game. But we got close.
‘People out there will say what they want about us. That’s cool. Maybe people will now think they’ve got something, they’re alright.
‘They’re fighting. They’re difficult to beat. They’ve got some good players. We showed that tonight.’
Unfortunately, Luton will likely be without forward Chiedozie Ogbene who came off during Sunday’s match against Liverpool with a foot injury.
‘I do wonder what we have to do to enjoy some luck’ – Ten Hag
Erik ten Hag has questioned what his side need to do to get some luck in his pre-match programme notes.
‘I do wonder what we have to do to enjoy some good luck,’ he writes.
‘There are times in life when it feels like nothing is going your way, but, in those situations, the only option is to keep working hard, giving everything and doing whatever you have to do to transform your luck'”
While United will be favourites at home today, he is expecting Luton to come out to play at Old Trafford.
‘The pressure is on us to produce the right kind of display.’
Time to bounce back?
It’s been a difficult two weeks for Manchester United who have lost three of their last five matches.
They come into today’s clash against Luton off the back of a disappointing 4-3 defeat by FC Copenhagen in the Champions League.
The match epitomised their struggles this season, with United having also suffered consecutive 3-0 defeats to Newcastle and Man City the previous week.
United have now lost nine of their opening 17 matches in all competitions this season, a slow start, falling to eighth in the league.
Despite that, today they can secure back-to-back wins in the league after Bruno Fernandes inspired a late victory against Fulham.
Meanwhile, today is also Erik ten Hag’s 50th game in charge of the club and is 17th manager to complete that feat.
Welcome to Mail Sport’s live coverage of Manchester United’s Premier League Clash against Luton.
It’s been a rollercoaster of a season so far for Man United, who, ahead of this afternoon’s game, sit eighth in the Premier League standings having won six and lost five of their opening eleven games.
Newly promoted side, Luton, meanwhile, have failed to win in all of their five previous matches, but they come into this match having scared Liverpool last week, going a goal up, before a last-gasp goal from Luis Diaz saw them settle for a draw.
Make sure to stick around as we’ll be bringing you all the latest news, commentary and coverage from Old Trafford today, with the game set to kick off at 3pm.