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regular-article-logo Friday, 01 March 2024

Premier League: Hint on Casemiro debut

‘Martial is not fit. He came out with a problem on his Achilles, so we have to wait’

Reuters Manchester Published 27.08.22, 03:49 AM
United manager Erik ten Hag

United manager Erik ten Hag File Photo

Manchester United’s Anthony Martial will miss Saturday’s Premier League clash with Southampton due to an Achilles issue, manager Erik ten Hag said on Friday, as the French forward’s injury problems continued to affect his start to the campaign.

Martial missed United’s season-opening defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion and the heavy loss to Brentford before coming on as a substitute against Liverpool on Monday, where he provided an assist to Marcus Rashford in their morale-boosting 2-1 win.

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“Martial is not fit. He came out with a problem on his Achilles, so we have to wait,” Ten Hag told reporters ahead of Saturday’s match at St Mary’s Stadium. “I cannot tell a prognosis on how long it takes but we hope he’ll be available for the next game against Leicester City.”

United’s new signing Casemiro watched from the Old Trafford stands as United overcame Liverpool and the former Real Madrid midfielder could make his debut for the club at Southampton.

“Casemiro is fit. He did all of the training sessions. He trained first individually and in the last days, he trained with the team,” Ten Hag added. “The spirit was already good but now it’s even better after Monday. But it’s only one game, so we have to build further, we have to develop and everyone is aware of that.

“We need to have a high standard. It’s a demand to the group. Now they see what the reward is, so we have to match the runs in and out of possession. We need runs and movement if you want to dictate a game.”

United have been linked with a move for Ajax forward Antony before the transfer window closes. “We need players but we need the right players,” Ten Hag added.

Conte backs Son

Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min has drawn a blank in the first three games but manager Antonio Conte said that he was not worried about the South Korean forward’s form. Son shared the league’s Golden Boot for most goals last season with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah after scoring 23 times — his best season with Spurs — but has only one assist so far in this campaign.

“You know very well that we are talking about a really important player for me and for the club,” Conte told reporters ahead of Sunday’s trip to promoted side Nottingham Forest. “Sonny in the last three games had chances to score, but there’s a moment where you’re a bit lucky or unlucky. I think (there is) no problem with Sonny’s performance, his attitude and commitment is always very high. “Sometimes as a striker you can be a bit unlucky.”

Kante’s absence

Chelsea will not change their approach to matches in the absence of midfielder N’Golo Kante through injury, manager Thomas Tuchel said after confirming that the France international was still more than four weeks away from a return.

Kante went to ground with a muscle injury in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur and Tuchel had said he was not optimistic about the World Cup-winner’s availability in the coming weeks.

“It’s difficult to replace him, he’s unique. We were full of hope for the pre-season... He felt strong and he had enough rest and build-up to be the player he can be,” Tuchel told a news conference before Saturday’s game against Leicester City.

“We started with one game a week and the hope was that he could play for us. We have trust in our players so it’ll be the same system. “We have played many games without him in the structure but we understand the challenge. To change completely because N’Golo isn’t there, I don’t think so.” Midfielder Mateo Kovacic is back training following a knee injury. “It’s good to have him as an option,” Tuchel added.

The German manager said he expected his team to respond to their 3-0 defeat by Leeds United last time out.

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