Manchester United will face an uphill struggle due to a spate of injuries to key personnel when they take on Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Red Devils were already without top-scorer Marcus Rashford and electrifying winger Alejandro Garnacho and were served with more bad news during their disappointing 2-2 draw with Sevilla in the Europa League.
But manager Erik ten Hag kept a brave face and mentioned that both Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have handled the pressure of playin for United before and should be more than adequate to handle what Forest can throw at them.
“Decent centre halves, they proved in the past and this season we have four or five very good centre halves who can do the job,” the Dutchman said during the pre-match press conference.
That will be good news especially after watching Tyrell Malacia struggle in the closing stages of the game.
“For Sunday? Yeah, could be. But we have to see. We have two sessions to go, so I don’t know now but it can be Scott and Luke will return to the squad. But not sure.”
In more worrying news, the former Ajax coach also hinted at possible rest for Anthony Martial after starting against Sevilla and playing in the second half against Everton.
The Frenchman has been injury-prone and Ten Hag wants to avoid that especially considering the crucial second leg against Sevilla and the upcoming FA Cup semifinal with Brighton.
“Maybe he can (start) but it’s a risk and we can’t take that risk in this moment because we don’t have so many options in the frontline with Rashford and Garnacho injured.
“So we have to be careful and also in the individual prospect we know when there’s a lot of load he gets injured and we have to build it, especially when the games come quick.”
As for Martinez, Ten Hag added, “I can’t say in this moment, when we have news we will give it straight to you. Let’s do the medical, a full assessment, complete diagnosis, it doesn’t change in this moment. I have an idea but I don’t cause speculation.”