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Antony will be in consideration for Champions League clash vs Galatasaray: Erik ten Hag

String of poor results worries Manchester United manager

Our Bureau Manchester Published 03.10.23, 09:18 AM
Erik ten Hag.

Erik ten Hag. File picture

Manchester United winger Antony could return for Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Galatasaray, manager Erik ten Hag said on Monday.

The 23-year-old has not played for United since the first week of September and was withdrawn from Brazil’s squad for two World Cup qualifying matches amid police investigations into assault allegations made by his former girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin.


Antony has denied any wrongdoing.

Last week, the Premier League club confirmed that Antony would resume training. The club had earlier agreed to allow the Brazilian to take a period of absence.

“Antony will be in consideration. Yesterday (Sunday) was his first time back in team training. We have final training and then we make a decision,” Ten Hag told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s home game against Turkish champions Galatasaray.

“He will be in consideration, yes... He co-operated fully and it’s come out that he’s not charged.”

Ten Hag also confirmed that Argentine Lisandro Martinez would have to undergo surgery for a foot injury. The United defender has been ruled out of action for an extended period, after aggravating an injury he suffered in April.

United go into their game against Galatasaray off the back of a 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday which dropped them down to 10th in the Premier League standings.

It was their fourth league defeat of the season — making this their worst start to a top-flight campaign since 1989-90.

Despite United’s recent struggles, Ten Hag said his team were “moving forward”, adding: “You have to make adjustments. We don’t have a full-back on the left side. There are shortages in our game.

“A lot of positives, but at the end of the day it is about results and we didn’t get it.”

United are bottom of Group A in the Champions League, after a 4-3 defeat at Bayern Munich in their opening match last month, but defender Raphael Varane said they possessed the quality to win the Champions League.

“You need to be efficient to win trophies. We have the quality in the squad to win competitions. We have to move forward and improve,” Varane told reporters.

Ancelotti’s test

Coach Carlo Ancelotti will have a point to prove when his Real Madrid side visits Napoli’s Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.

Ancelotti was axed by president Aurelio De Laurentiis in December 2019, less than an hour after helping Napoli reach the Champions League knock-out stages with a 4-0 thrashing of Genk.

The Italian side were struggling in seventh in Serie A at the time and won their first Scudetto for 33 years in 2023, so De Laurentiis will consider his decisions more than justified.

Ancelotti spent a year and a half in charge of Napoli, guiding them to a second-place finish in the 2018-19 campaign, but his tenure was abruptly cut short in its sophomore year. At that time, it seemed Ancelotti had reached the game’s summit years earlier and was on the way down football’s food chain, with his next appointment at Everton appearing to confirm that.

Dressing room tensions and a dispute with De Laurentiis over a training camp led to his downfall in Campania.

The president appeared to think Ancelotti did not have it in him to manage the squad.

However, Ancelotti’s surprise return to the helm of Madrid in 2021 put him back among the elite, and in 2022 he won his fourth Champions League title as a coach, more than anyone else, as well as La Liga to complete a superb double.

The visit to Napoli will be another acid test for both Ancelotti’s plan and Madrid’s squad depth, with striker Victor Osimhen in excellent form, despite his recent anger over the club insulting him on social media network TikTok.

Los Blancos are without injured defender David Alaba, leaving only Antonio Rudiger and Nacho Fernandez available in central defence.

Written with inputs from Reuters

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