Manchester United will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they take on surprise package Brentford on Wednesday evening.
After taking just one point in their last three league outings, the Red Devils have cast doubt on their top-four push, particularly in light of an underwhelming 2-0 loss at Newcastle United on Sunday.
Now level on points with the third-placed Magpies and only one clear of closest pursuers Tottenham Hotspur, Erik ten Hag’s men must grind out a much-needed victory against Brentford to steady the ship.
In the build-to the Bees’ visit to Old Trafford, Man United shared a fitness update on several sidelined stars on their official website, but fans may not like the report.
Casemiro’s absence will hand ten Hag’s team selection a massive headache as the Brazilian serves the third out of his four-match suspension after picking up a red card against Southampton last month.
The former Real Madrid star has been one of the most crucial cogs in the Dutchman’s machine this season, and replacing him won’t be a straightforward task, as witnessed last weekend at St James’ Park.
Man United hoped to have Christian Eriksen back from a long-term ankle problem in time to fill Casemiro’s shoes against Brentford, but that won’t happen.
Despite making ‘good progress’ in his recovery from the injury he sustained in the FA Cup triumph over Reading in January, Wednesday’s game will come too soon for the Danish playmaker.
The Red Devils will also be without long-term absentee Donny van de Beek and second-string goalkeeper Tom Heaton, but that’s unlikely to faze ten Hag.
What could be a problem for the ex-Ajax manager is Alejandro Garnacho’s lengthy spell on the sidelines after succumbing to a nasty foot injury during a 3-1 win over West Ham United in last month’s FA Cup action.
The lightning-fast Argentine forward has been one of the revelations at Old Trafford this season, proving a lethal weapon in several league matches.
But Anthony Martial could fill the vacancy after returning to the fold as a second-half substitute against Newcastle at the weekend, making his first Premier League appearance since February 1.
Recurring injury problems have halted the Frenchman’s progress under ten Hag, even though he seemed on course to win his trust and gain a prominent role this term.
Wednesday’s encounter against Brentford could be a perfect opportunity for the former Monaco star to earn some points with the Dutchman.
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