Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is finally seeing some relief on the injury front as he aims to break the streak of three consecutive defeats. The Red Devils face an away Premier League clash with Burnley, and a victory is imperative given Vincent Kompany’s team’s lackluster start to the season.
Ten Hag has been grappling with a list of 11 absentees, which includes nine due to injuries and two players – Antony and Jadon Sancho – unavailable for off-pitch reasons.
However, there’s hope that four of the injured players could make their return for Saturday’s match, with goalkeeper Tom Heaton already back in contention.
Raphael Varane, Mason Mount, and Kobbie Mainoo – the latter yet to feature this season – have resumed training. Sofyan Amrabat, also yet to play this season, is back in training but is believed to be slightly behind the others in terms of fitness.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Varane and Mount immediately inserted into the starting lineup against Burnley. With the team conceding 10 goals in three games, Varane’s presence to stabilize the defense is likely a priority.
He is expected to form the defensive quartet alongside Diogo Dalot, Lisandro Martinez, and Sergio Reguilon in front of goalkeeper Andre Onana, while Victor Lindelof is likely to be relegated to the bench.
Unfortunately, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Tyrell Malacia remain sidelined due to injuries.
In midfield, despite both Casemiro and Christian Eriksen having subpar performances against Bayern Munich, Casemiro is likely to retain his spot, especially since he scored two goals.
However, there might be a surprise in store. If Sofyan Amrabat can regain fitness in time, he could replace Eriksen, as Scott McTominay has also been underperforming lately.
Mason Mount is expected to make a swift return to the starting lineup. If Amrabat is unavailable, Mount could be a candidate to replace Eriksen. However, if Amrabat is fit, Ten Hag might experiment with a diamond midfield, which didn’t work well against Brighton.
This could mean Casemiro holding, Amrabat in the left central midfield, and Mount on the right (or vice versa), with Bruno Fernandes in the number 10 role. Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund would form the front two in this scenario.
Betting on Amrabat’s fitness, here’s our predicted starting XI for tomorrow’s 8pm kick-off: