Marcus Rashford’s involvement is touch-and-go for the Carabao Cup final between Manchester United and Newcastle United on Sunday.
Manchester United will look to end the long trophy drought by winning the Carabao Cup when they lock horns with Newcastle United in the final at Wembley on Sunday. And Erik ten Hag has a new injury concern hampering his preparation ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
The big news is that Marcus Rashford might not be fit enough to start the final against Newcastle. That is because the Englishman sustained an ankle injury earlier this week against Barcelona. And ten Hag did not provide a positive update on Rashford in his pre-match press conference.
Meanwhile, Christian Eriksen (ankle), Donny van de Beek (knee), and Anthony Martial (hip) remain on the sidelines. And ten Hag definitively ruled Martial out of the Carabao Cup final, with the Frenchman yet to regain fitness.
The Manchester United boss first responded to a question on Rashford’s fitness, saying, “I don’t know.” He then added, “Players are now coming in [to Carrington], we have to do investigations, medical [checks]. Straight after a game you can’t say, you have to wait for medical [checks].” On Martial, ten Hag said, “No, he will not be available.”
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Despite ten Hag’s comments, Rashford seems available after boarding the train to London with the squad. And the English international should make the starting lineup, featuring from the left flank. Meanwhile, Antony will return after scoring the match-winner against Barcelona.
The Brazilian international will join Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, and Wout Weghorst in the final third. The quartet will form a fluid offensive partnership, although Antony will primarily feature on the right flank.
Casemiro and Fred should continue their pairing in the double pivot, as ten Hag has no reason to shuffle a midfield partnership that is working wonderfully. So Marcel Sabitzer will find himself on the bench again this weekend.
As for the defensive unit, ten Hag will likely sanction only one change. The said shuffle will see Diogo Dalot replacing Aaron Wan-Bissaka as the right-back. The Portuguese international will join Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, and Luke Shaw in the backline. Finally, there is no looking past David de Gea between the sticks.
Predicted Manchester United XI: de Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Fred; Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst
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