Manchester United faces a daunting challenge with the possibility of more than a dozen key players being unavailable for their Sunday clash against arch-rivals Liverpool, a team that humiliated them with a 7-0 defeat last season.
The injury woes deepened for United as Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw joined the list of enforced absentees, both sustaining injuries in the first half of United’s recent 1-0 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich, leading to their European exit.
Manager Erik ten Hag is grappling with a personnel crisis as the team heads to Anfield. The bench is expected to consist mainly of fringe and youth players, along with two goalkeepers, mirroring the situation from the midweek match.
The extensive list of potential absentees includes:
- Victor Lindelof (knock): Missed the recent humbling by Bournemouth and the Bayern Munich clash, with uncertainty about his availability.
- Harry Maguire (groin): A key player who left the midweek game early; his recovery will impact Ten Hag’s defensive choices.
- Luke Shaw (hamstring): The left-back, having faced injury setbacks this season, withdrew during the Bayern Munich defeat, pending further tests.
- Lisandro Martinez (Foot): Despite an impressive debut season, Martinez has been sidelined with a foot injury and is yet to return to competitive action.
- Tyrell Malacia (Knee): A long-term absentee hoping to return by the new year.
- Casemiro (Thigh): A Brazilian midfielder recovering from a thigh injury, with doubts about his readiness for the Liverpool clash.
- Christian Eriksen (Knee): Missed several recent games due to a knee issue, aiming for a return by Christmas.
- Mason Mount (Calf): Struggled to secure a regular role but has returned to training, possibly in contention.
- Amad (Knee): The Ivorian winger has been sidelined with a knee injury, raising speculations about a temporary exit.
- Marcus Rashford (Illness): The top scorer last season has faced a challenging term and missed the Bayern Munich match due to illness.
- Anthony Martial (Illness): Like Rashford, Martial was unavailable for the Bayern game due to illness.
- Bruno Fernandes (Suspended): Not injured but serving a one-match suspension against Liverpool due to accumulated yellow cards.
- Jadon Sancho (Discipline): Not injured or suspended, Sancho remains sidelined following a public falling out with Ten Hag.
The extensive injury and suspension list poses significant challenges for United in their quest for a positive result against Liverpool.