Erik ten Hag’s faith in Manchester United “warrior” Lisandro Martinez will be put to the test as Manchester City striker Erling Haaland aims to extend his red-hot streak in Sunday’s derby.
Haaland has made a blistering start with City since joining the Premier League champions from Borussia Dortmund for £51 million ($57 million) in the close season.
With 14 goals in nine games in all competitions for City, the Norway striker, playing in his first Manchester derby, will put United’s recent revival to the test.
Only once has Haaland been denied a goal in the Premier League this season, but United manager Ten Hag might have the solution to taming the prolific 22-year-old.
When Ten Hag’s Ajax faced Dortmund in the Champions League last season, they stopped Haaland scoring and won the group match thanks in large part to an inspired display from a tenacious defender now plying his trade with United.
Ten Hag brought Martinez with him to Old Trafford in the summer transfer window in a deal that could reach nearly £57 million and the 24-year-old is already producing commanding performances.
At 6-feet-4 (193 centimeters), Haaland will tower over Martinez, who is the Premier League’s smallest centre back at 5ft 9in.
But the aggressive Argentine does not let his diminutive stature stop…