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Erik ten Hag reveals Anthony Martial blow ahead of Southampton clash

Erik ten Hag reveals Anthony Martial blow ahead of Southampton clash

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has ruled Anthony Martial out of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Southampton due to an Achilles problem.

The France international missed his side’s opening two games of the 2022-23 campaign against Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford respectively due to a hamstring issue.

Martial came off the bench against Liverpool on Monday evening, though, and provided the assist for Marcus Rashford to make it 2-0 on the night, with the hosts eventually running out 2-1 winners.

The former Monaco youngster had seemingly been in line to start against Southampton this weekend, but Ten Hag said during his press conference that the attacker was not available for selection.

“You will see tomorrow [changes]. I will tell the team first [changes]. Anthony Martial is not fit,” the Dutchman told reporters when questioned on any potential alterations. “He (Martial) came out with a problem with his achilles. I hope he will be available for the next game.”

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag on July 31, 2022© Reuters

Anthony Elanga started off the left against Liverpool, with Rashford playing through the middle, and Jadon Sancho operating off the right.

Ten Hag could decide to keep faith with the same front three from the game with the Reds, but Cristiano Ronaldo is also an option, with the Portugal international dropping to the bench against Jurgen Klopp‘s side.

Ronaldo continues to be linked with a move away from the 20-time English champions, but an exit is now looking unlikely at this stage of the transfer window.

Ten Hag also has decisions to make when it comes to his midfield, with new signing Casemiro available to make his debut for the club at Southampton.

Casemiro could come in for Scott McTominay, but there are not expected to be changes at the back, so Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire might have to accept spots on the bench once again.

Manchester United midfielder Casemiro pictured on August 22, 2022© Reuters

“It’s a different challenge [to Liverpool]. Did we learn the lesson from Brentford? Because this will be more or less than same approach,” said Ten Hag when asked about the challenge Southampton would provide.

“We need to have a high standard. It’s a demand to the group. Now they see what the reward is, so we have to match the runs in and out of possession. We need runs and movement if you want to dictate a game.

“The spirit was already good but now it is even better [following Monday’s win]. But it’s only one game so we have to build further, we have to develop and I think everyone is aware of that.”

Ten Hag also said that Phil Jones, Axel Tuanzebe and Brandon Williams would not be involved against Southampton but suggested that all three would remain at the club beyond the transfer deadline despite the speculation surrounding their futures.

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