Live Match Preview – Man Utd vs Burnley 21/12/2022
Live Match Preview – Man Utd vs Burnley 21/12/2022
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Manchester United return against Burnley in the Carabao Cup Round of 16 on Wednesday night – live on InNewCL Sports Football – but which of their World Cup stars will play at Old Trafford?
A group of 25 trained in Carrington on Tuesday while Argentina’s Lisandro Martinez and French defender Raphael Varane were absent after reaching Sunday’s World Cup final.
United manager Erik ten Hag is now short of options at centre-back with his two preferred options unavailable and is likely to throw captain Harry Maguire straight back into the starting line-up.
Image: Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez have formed an impressive defensive partnership for Man Utd this season
Maguire was back in Carrington on Tuesday alongside fellow England teammates Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw after being eliminated by France from the World Cup quarter-finals on December 10.
Man Utd’s provisional squad for Burnley
Goalkeepers: De Gea, Dubravka, Heaton. Defenders: Maguire, Lindelof, Malacia, Shaw, Williams, Wan-Bissaka, Bennett. Midfielders: Casemiro, Eriksen, Fernandes, McTominay, Fred, Van de Beek, Iqbal. Forwards: Martial, Rashford, Antony, Garnacho, Elanga, Pellistri.
Victor Lindelof was part of United’s warm-weather training camp in Spain and is the obvious candidate for Maguire as a centre-back for the league leaders’ visit.
Image: Maguire and Shaw are back in training after their World Cup season with England
The pair have struggled to settle into Ten Hag’s system, which places more emphasis on playing a higher line and being more proactive off ball possession to win the ball back further up the pitch.
Martial and Rashford fill Ronaldo’s void
Fit and keen to restart the season, United striker Anthony Martial will be particularly strong in the coming weeks ahead of the January transfer window following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. Ten Hag is expected to share batting duties between Martial and Rashford, with his options otherwise limited.
United are considering their options in the transfer market for the next month, with PSV and Dutch striker Cody Gakpo among their eye-catching targets, but are aware FFP regulations spent more than £200m over the summer.
Image: Man Utd will look to Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford for goals now that Cristiano Ronaldo is gone
Ronaldo and United agreed to terminate the 37-year-old’s contract after he criticized the club and Ten Hag in an explosive interview with Piers Morgan on Talk TV.
What does absence of Dalot mean?
A notable absentee from Tuesday’s main group was Portuguese right-back Diogo Dalot, who has been a standout player for United this season and also impressed at the World Cup in Qatar.
Dalot suffered an apparent hamstring injury in the 79th minute of Portugal’s World Cup quarter-final defeat by Morocco.
His absence could give Aaron Wan-Bissaka his first chance to impress Ten Hag in a competitive match since the Dutchman took charge. The full-back has only played four minutes this season.
Image: Dalot has emerged as one of United’s most consistent players this season
Crystal Palace’s £50m signing in 2019 has fallen out of favor under Ten Hag and will be allowed to move on in January if a relevant offer is received. In this case a replacement could be signed.
So far this season, Ten Hag have preferred to play in Dalot’s absence at left-back Tyrell Malacia, who also trained on Tuesday. Another sign that Wan-Bissaka is not in the manager’s plans.
Brandon Williams has also recovered from injury and could step in at right-back after returning in two friendlies against Cadiz and Real Betis.
Sancho is still missing
Jadon Sancho was also absent from Tuesday’s group as he had not returned having missed warm-weather training camp. The 22-year-old is currently doing individual training in the Netherlands as Ten Hag says he is not physically or mentally ready to play with the main group.
Image: Jadon Sancho has had a turbulent time at Old Trafford since moving from Dortmund
“He wasn’t fit enough to be there,” said Ten Hag of Sancho’s absence in Spain. “It’s a combination of physical and mental. Sometimes there are circumstances with fitness and mood.
“Our goal is to get him back as soon as possible.”
Sancho has now been unavailable for two months, having last played in United’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea on October 22.
How is the rest of the squad doing?
Portugal international Bruno Fernandes and Brazil trio Casemiro, Antony and Fred were there in Carrington on Tuesday, as were Denmark’s Christian Eriksen and Uruguay’s Facundo Pellistri following their World Cup exploits.
Our Gillette Labs Precision Play of the Week is Alejandro Garnacho’s dramatic late winner against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Scott McTominay, Donny van de Beek and Anthony Elanga were among those who have kept fit during the World Cup break and are now ready to continue the season with United.
Youngsters Alejandro Garnacho, who is enjoying a successful season with the first team after goals at Real Sociedad and Fulham, Zidane Iqbal and Rhys Bennett were also part of the training group.
There were five goalies in the unit: David de Gea, Martin Dubravka, Tom Heaton, Nathan Bishop and Radek Vitek.