Manchester United midfielder Marcel Sabitzer has returned to training following a lay-off with injury, but Antony was absent from Wednesday’s (March 15) session. The Red Devils are in action on Thursday (March 16) when they face Real Betis in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 16.
Erik ten Hag’s side are in the driving seat, taking a 4-1 win from the first leg to the Benito Villamarin. He has been boosted by Sabitzer’s return. The Austrian midfielder has been dealing with a slight knock and hasn’t featured since the 7-0 drubbing at Liverpool in the Premier League on March 5.
However, Sabitzer was present in training ahead of Manchester United’s trip to Betis. He has also been selected by former interim Red Devils manager Ralf Rangnick in Austria’s upcoming UEFA Euro qualifiers at the end of the month.
He returns at a vital time for Ten Hag’s side as they deal with the four-game suspension of Casemiro. He can play in the clash with Los Verdiblancos but will miss his side’s next four domestic fixtures.
However, there’s bad news for Manchester United though, as Antony was not seen during the training session at Carrington. The Brazilian attacker was substituted in the side’s goalless draw with Southampton last Sunday (March 12).
He has struggled for form since arriving at Old Trafford from Ajax last summer for £82 million, scoring seven goals and providing one assist in 29 games across competitions. The extent of his issue is unknown.
Bacary Sagna tips Manchester United to miss out on top four to Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United are third in the league, winning 15 of 26 games. Ten Hag’s men are on course to qualify for the UEFA Champions League but have slipped up recently. They suffered a 7-0 mauling against Liverpool and a disappointing goalless draw with Southampton.
Former Arsenal and Manchester City right-back Sagna has predicted that the Red Devils could miss out on the top four. The Frenchman reckons Newcastle and Tottenham could pip them to Champions League qualification.
He told GGRecon when asked which teams will finish in the top four alongside his two former sides:
“Newcastle United and Tottenham. The funny thing with Manchester United is that you never know what to expect from them before a game.”
Sagna continued by alluding to Ten Hag’s side’s inconsistency:
“Sometimes they can be fantastic, but sometimes you question the commitment of the players, and the game against Liverpool is an example of that. It’s almost like they never all turn up at the same time.”
Manchester United are next in action in the league on April 2. They head to St James’ Park to face Newcastle in a clash that may have massive top-four implications.