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Man Utd suffer huge double blow ahead of Barcelona clash

marcel sabitzer man utd

Manchester United have suffered a huge double blow ahead of the Barcelona trip as Lisandro Martinez and Marcel Sabitzer are set to miss out on Thursday night’s crunch Europa League clash against the Catalan giants.

It was already known that Martinez would be suspended for this fixture after picking up his third booking in the final group game against Real Sociedad back in November. In that fixture, United needed to win by a two-goal margin to top the group and avoid playing in the playoffs.

However, they only managed to come away with a 1-0 victory and ended up finishing second. Erik ten Hag’s side are now required to go through the playoff round to reach the next stage of this competition and they have been drawn to play Spanish giants Barcelona, who dropped down from the Champions League.

Meanwhile, along with Martinez, new January loan acquisition Sabitzer will also be suspended for Thursday’s clash, having picked up three bookings in the Champions League group stage with Bayern Munich.

Manchester United have been struggling with injury and suspension issues in recent times and midfield is an area where they have been affected the most.

Man Utd suffer a double blow

Donny van de Beek’s season has already been ended after sustaining a serious knee issue and Christian Eriksen is also set to be sidelined for a lengthy period of time with an ankle problem. Scott McTominay has been struggling with a muscular injury in recent weeks and is a major doubt to face Barcelona.

Casemiro is currently suspended for three domestic fixtures after picking up a straight red card against Crystal Palace but thankfully he will be available for selection in Thursday’s European encounter. Anthony Martial and Antony are expected to be missing out through injury.

Following Eriksen’s injury, Man Utd opted to sign Sabitzer on loan from Bayern Munich on deadline day this winter to replace the Denmark international and add depth to the engine room.

The midfielder has made a bright start to his life in the English top-flight. So, his suspension will be a huge blow for the Red Devils as they were already short in numbers in midfield and following Sabitzer’s suspension, Ten Hag only has Casemiro and Fred available as the midfield options to choose from against Barca.

Martinez’s absence will also be a big loss for Man Utd as the Argentinean international has been impressive since arriving from Ajax last summer. Harry Maguire could replace Martinez – although Luke Shaw could be deployed at centre-back.

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