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Erik Ten Hag has said that Manchester United will be missing four first-team players for Wednesday night’s match against Leeds United.
Casemiro, who is serving a three-match ban after being sent off at the weekend, will miss the game as will Scott Mctominay, Anthony Martial and Antony who are all nursing injuries. It means that new signing Marcel Sabitzer is almost certainly going to make his first start for the club.
Scott Mctominay, who came in for the Brazilian when he missed the match against Arsenal, will be disappointed that his own fitness issues have ruled him out of this fixture. He has often played his best football against the Whites over the years and scored twice against them in five minutes in the same fixture two seasons ago.
Anthony Martial’s persistent injuries will continue to be a source of frustration for Ten Hag who has not been able to rely on the Frenchman all season. Wout Weghorst will almost certainly continue in his absence.
The injury to Antony is a new one, however, meaning Jadon Sancho may get his first start since returning to the fold after a period of absence away from the squad. Alternatively, Marcus Rashford may move over to the right-hand side with Alejandro Garnacho playing on the left.
Everyone at Manchester United is capable
When confirming his list of injuries to reporters before the match against Leeds, Ten Hag said that all of his players are “capable”. The Dutchman added:
“I am the manager, I always have to play with the players who are available. We have many good players in the squad. We did consider appealing the Casemiro red card but I don’t think we have a chance in the legal process.”
Ten Hag’s side have been in phenomenal form since the Premier League restarted after the World Cup, winning 13 games in a row in all competitions at Old Trafford. Ten Hag spoke in the press conference about how valuable this home form has been:
“One of our aims was to get Old Trafford back and restore Man Utd to the club it wants to be. In away games we can show more personality and the next step we have to make is to have the same team on the pitch away as at home. It’s great to have the connection at Old Trafford.”
🗣️ “I always have to play with the players that are available. We have a squad with many good players who aren’t always playing in the starting XI.”
Erik ten Hag on using his squad with the absense of key player Casemiro. pic.twitter.com/yzJyOjx9xW
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 7, 2023
The games keep coming for United
As United continue to battle on four fronts, the fixture list is looking more congested than ever. After back-to-back games with Leeds, they travel to Barcelona for the first leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie before welcoming Leicester City to Old Trafford.
For the foreseeable future, the Red Devils will be playing three times a week so injuries are to be expected. The key for Ten Hag will be to ensure that his best players aren’t burned out by the time April and May come around when trophies are handed out.
As a result, he may have to start taking some risks with team selection and giving fringe players such as Facundo Pellistri, Anthony Elanga, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof more game time.