Erik ten Hag may have to implement a creative solution to Manchester United’s deepening midfield crisis

Erik ten Hag has met every challenge he has faced since taking over at Manchester United head-on, with conviction and imagination. He may have to resort to that again this Sunday.

United will be back in action after the international break and it won’t be easy to get back on track. The fixtures will come fast and plentiful with at least nine games in April already and a game against Chelsea to rearrange as well. But first on Sunday it will be a trip north to face Newcastle United.

Ten Hag’s side may have enjoyed a more comfortable afternoon than they imagined when the teams met at Wembley last month, but the Magpies are back in full force after a difficult period, winning their last two outings before the break and are looking for fourth place. currently in the hands of Tottenham.

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It would be a difficult game at best, but United will travel to Tyneside very exhausted. Raphael Varane missed the victory over Fulham by a blow, Alejandro Garnacho will still be out for some time and Anthony Martial’s return date is unknown.

That’s even before you get to the really troublesome midfield, which United could be down on. Donny van de Beek is out for the season, Christian Eriksen is making progress but his expected return date is still a month away and Casemiro is suspended for another three games.

But just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it seems Marcel Sabitzer is also dealing with a problem. The Austrian missed games with Real Betis and Southampton earlier this month with an unspecified injury before scoring again against Fulham.

Sabitzer was in action for Austria during the international break, but Ralf Rangnick admitted he is suffering from knee pain that needs treatment. “In the end, it’s a matter of pain and pain tolerance for Marcel,” Rangnick said after Sabitzer’s brace against Azerbaijan last week. “Of course, we hope that Marcel will do well, especially after that first game in Linz. At the moment, I am optimistic that he can work.”


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