MANCHESTER UNITED have a host of defensive injury worries ahead of their return to Premier League action.
The Red Devils beat Burnley 2-0 on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup thanks to goals from Christian Eriksen and Marcus Rashford.
Harry Maguire is a doubt for Man Utd’s clash at Nottingham Forest
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However, England centre-half and club captain Harry Maguire was absent for that clash due to illness.
And with both Argentinian World Cup winner Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, whose France were beaten in the final on penalties, still absent, that leaves Erik ten Hag with a dilemma.
Axel Tuanzebe, 25, remains sidelined with a long-term problem while Teden Mengi is also out, and it seems that Phil Jones is not even under consideration by his manager.
That could lead to Casemiro being deployed there again for United like he was against the Clarets – although with a lack of first-team opportunities, Maguire will be desperate to try and grasp his opportunity if physically able.
Academy defender Rhys Bennett was named on the bench as defensive back-up in midweek, and he could be on it again depending on the club captain.
And just to make matters worse, Portuguese full-back Diogo Dalot is also a doubt, which will likely lead to Aaron Wan-Bissaka getting a second-consecutive start.
Ten Hag said: “[Martinez] has been celebrating in Buenos Aires and I can understand that. It’s the highest you can achieve.
“But also, Lisandro Martinez has to accept on the 27th the Premier League will go on.
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“Of course [Varane] is disappointed about losing but I think also he can be proud that he was again in that final [having won the 2018 World Cup], and of all that he achieved already in his career.”
Jadon Sancho, who was put on an individual fitness programme during the World Cup, is still not back at Old Trafford and will not be in consideration for the game.
But Brazilians Antony and Fred came off the bench in midweek and look likely to start with Bruno Fernandes, Rashford and Anthony Martial likely to form the attack.
Luke Shaw also appeared as a sub against Burnley, and he seems almost certain to come in at left-back.
An alternative line-up that Erik ten Hag could opt to go for