Opponent Watch: Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag rules out Victor Lindelof for Liverpool clash
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag spoke to the club’s official website ahead of the game against Liverpool. He provided first-team injury updates and spoke about Anthony Martial and Victor Lindelöf.
Martial was not involved in United’s squad for their first two league games owing to a hamstring injury in pre-season. The Frenchman was an integral part of Ten Hag’s pre-season camp, scoring three goals. The 26-year-old was also among the scorers in a 4-0 win against Liverpool in a pre-season friendly in Thailand.
Martial last featured in the league against Liverpool in January 2021 in a goalless fixture. Ten Hag also ruled out centre-back Victor Lindelöf from the game, as he has not returned to the training pitch yet. The Swede was part of United’s line-up against Liverpool on both occasions last season.
The Dutch manager lauded Martial’s return as “good news” and would expect his team to get their first points this season sooner than later.
“Victor has not returned to the training pitch yet, but the good news is that Anthony Martial is back in training with the team.”
United aren’t short of options in attack even if it wasn’t for Martial’s return. Marcus Rashford, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, and Anthony Elanga would all be itching to make an impression against the Reds.
Apart from Lindelof, United have Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez in their ranks. Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are still on their books but they haven’t seen any action under Ten Hag so far in the new season.
Liverpool squad news
For Liverpool, the injuries keep on piling and squad depth is a major contributing factor to the club’s uneasy start to the league campaign. The Reds are also expected to be without the services of centre-backs Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate for this fixture.
Diogo Jota’s injury rules him out of the fixture. Darwin Nunez is serving a suspension owing to a red card. Roberto Firmino is the only natural option for the Reds upfront. The list of midfielders injured includes Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and maestro Thiago Alcantara.
With both teams desperate to go out there and get their first wins of the season, it will be interesting to see how either team lines up against their arch-rivals. Man United haven’t even scored a goal so far, with the only goal to their credit being an own goal against Brighton and Hove Albion.
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The Reds would hope to make most of the troubled times ten Hag’s side is going through to get a win. Post their North-West derby, Liverpool travel back to Anfield to play successive home games against newly promoted sides AFC Bournemouth and Newcastle United.