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Erik ten Hag must start Marcus Rashford up front if Rasmus Hojlund remains unavailable for Everton clash

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag must start Marcus Rashford in the centre-forward role this weekend as injury doubts remain over Rasmus Hojlund.

The manager provided an update on Hojlund’s fitness, who came off injured in Man United’s 1-0 victory over Luton Town.

The striker went down holding the back of his right leg. He subsequently missed the recent international fixtures to recover from his injury.

Ten Hag said (via “Rasmus Hojlund, not too bad. Everton will be a close finish, but we’re working on that.

“We’re not sure if he can make that but, hopefully, in the next week, he will return to the squad.”

Marcus Rashford should start in the number-nine role

Man United will face Everton on Sunday, three days before their must-win Champions League encounter with Galatasaray in Turkey.

The Red Devils are at the bottom of their group after four games.

With Hojlund facing a race against time to get fit, it would not be a smart call to start him in two consecutive games in three days.

Ten Hag would also have one eye on next weekend’s clash against Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

Both teams are hoping to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League. 

The Magpies will be confident after they knocked Red Devils out of the League Cup earlier this month.

With fixtures coming thick and fast, Ten Hag should not take risks with Hojlund’s fitness.

The 20-year-old has been their standout player in the Champions League this season, scoring five goals in four outings.

Rashford is not a natural striker and prefers to play in the left-wing spot.

However, the €75 million star fared well from the centre last season – bagging 11 goals and five assists from 19 games.

His breakneck pace could cause problems for James Tarkowski, who is expected to start as one of Everton’s centre-backs this Sunday.

Having Rashford play through the middle would allow Alejandro Garnacho to start from the left flank.

A battle between Garnacho and former United captain Ashley Young could be intriguing to watch.

Anthony Martial is another option for the centre-forward role, but the Frenchman has barely looked threatening during his cameos this term.