Antony, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial remain doubts for Manchester United’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa.
Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag admitted that he did not know whether Anthony, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial will be able to return against Aston Villa Sunday afternoon.
The trio were absent for Thursday’s Europa League match with Real Sociedad, which the Red Devils won 1-0, but the win was still not enough for the team to automatically qualify for the knockout round.
Martial has been on the sidelines since picking up a back injury against Everton nearly a month ago, but the France international has returned to training this week.
Antony meanwhile missed Man United’s last two games against West Ham United and Real Sociedad due to a problem he picked up in training.
Sancho was also unavailable for Thursday’s game in Spain due to illness, and Ten Hag said all three forwards would need to be assessed before a decision on that involvement is made on Sunday.
“It’s hard to say at the moment. I need to speak to the medical and the performance team as they have been doing a program in Manchester. I need to hear how their progress has been and if they can be available for Sunday’s game,” Ten Hag told reporters Thursday night.
Alexander Garnacho earned a place in the starting line-up against Real Sociedad and scored his first senior goal as the Red Devils recorded a one-goal victory in the European competition.
Marcus Rashford was left on the bench for the first whistle last time out, but the England international is expected to return to the starting line-up at Villa Park on Sunday.
Bruno Fernandes will miss out against Unai Emerys side by suspension, while Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe and Raphael Varane is definitely out through injury.
Ten Hag, meanwhile, has a big decision to make in the middle of his defense Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire competing to start alongside Lisandro Martinez.
Maguire was in the XI against West Ham last weekend due to Lindelof’s absence due to illness, but the Sweden international returned against Real Sociedad.
“I have to think about that,” the manager said when asked about his options at the back. “I have to see because Aston Villa is going to be a tough one because we don’t know.
“They have a new manager and I have to look and analyze that game, that team and then we have a choice. But Licha [Martinez] and Victor played very well together over a few more games.
“But I also think Licha and Harry kept a clean sheet against West Ham United last Sunday and did very well as well, so it’s a choice we have to make. When I choose one, it’s not one thing against the other.”
Man United have won three of their last five games in the Premier League and remained unbeaten in the process, leaving them fifth in the table, just one point behind fourth-placed Newcastle United.
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