By Sedara Oluwadara
Manchester United are preparing to return to Premier League action this weekend, with the 20-time English giants gearing up for arguably the most difficult fixture of the season: the Manchester Derby.
Straight off the international break, the Red Devils will have to make the daunting trip to the Etihad Stadium where they will lock horns with Guardiola’s in-form side, led by goalscoring machine Erling Haaland.
And while Ten Hag’s men enter this clash on the back of an impressive four-game winning streak, beating current league leaders Arsenal and bitter rivals Liverpool along the way, the visitors’ odds of triumphing have been rocked by two concerning injuries.
Old Trafford’s Dutch tactician will be without two key attackers for Sunday’s trip, one of which is Marcus Rashford, who scored a brace in that 3-1 victory over the Gunners.
Unfortunately, that victory over Arsenal came at a cost, with the Englishman picking up a muscular injury on that day. Initially, the attacker was tipped to make a quick recovery after missing out on a Three Lions call-up.
However, as revealed by the Times, the Manchester United academy graduate hasn’t trained with the squad and is thus unlikely to feature against City.
This is a huge blow for Ten Hag as Rashford’s pace in behind would have been crucial against a team destined to dominate possession.
The other attacker set to miss this tie is Anthony Martial. Despite enjoying a promising start under the new manager, the Frenchman has struggled with fitness and is yet to make a Premier League start this campaign.
The former Monaco sensation, who has only 45 minutes of football under his belt, is suffering from an Achilles injury and also failed to train this week, making a cameo at the Etihad Stadium nearly impossible.
On the flip side, Jadon Sancho, who has started the season well, is fit and ready to go after enjoying a rest during the international break due to his failure to make the England squad.
Elsewhere, Cristiano Ronaldo, Anthony Elanga, and marquee summer signing Antony are the other available attackers to choose from.