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Ten Hag insists Sheriff will be ‘strong’ opponents for Man Utd, and offers Rashford injury update

Erik ten Hag has described Sheriff Tiraspol as ‘strong’ opponents for his Manchester United side, and has offered an update on an injury picked up by Marcus Rashford.

The Red Devils have travelled to Moldova for their second Europa League group game, taking on a side that stunned the world by beating Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League.

United lost their opening group game against Real Sociedad last week, and speaking ahead of Thursday’s game in Chisinau, Erik ten Hag said that he has prepared his side for a tough test.

“It’s quite clear, they beat Real Madrid and Shakhtar, they are capable,” he told his pre-match press conference. “We have to make it our game but we are conscious of that fact. They are a serious and decent opponent and we have to play our best for the win.

“Pressure is for every game, we have to win every game. When you lose the first game, you have to win the second, so we know what our task is. We always play a strong team, so also tomorrow we will play a strong team.”

United made the trip to Moldova without a number of first-team players, including Marcus Rashford, Donny van de Beek and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Rashford has shown signs of rediscovering his form of late, and has largely been utilised through the middle of the Manchester United front three under the Dutchman.

Asked about Rashford’s absence, Ten Hag said he didn’t expect the England international to be out of action for too long, suggesting he could make Gareth Southgate’s upcoming England squad.

“He’s not available. The consequence after Arsenal. He has a muscle injury,” he said.

“It’s quite clear [can he make England squad], sure, yes. He’s shown his great potential and quality [this season].

“No, I don’t think too long, but I cannot tell how long. It’s not really bad and we expect him to be back quite soon.”

One man who has made the trip is Cristiano Ronaldo, though ten Hag refused to give away his team news when asked if the Portuguese would start the match.

“I’m sorry but the Moldovan fans will have to wait until tomorrow.”

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