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Erik Ten Hag explain Antony, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho absences trip to Real Sociedad

Erik ten Hag will be without Antony, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho for Manchester United’s trip to Real Sociedad as they look to top their Europa League group

Manchester United have announced that Antony and Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho will miss the club’s crunch trip to Real Sociedad on Thursday night.

The Red Devils need to win by two or more goals at the Anoeta Stadium to top their Europa League group and avoid a two-legged tie against a third-place Champions League team in February. Erik ten Hag’s side have won four of their five group matches, but their only defeat came against Sociedad, who sit at the summit of Group E.

And United will be without three key players for their all-important clash in the Basque country. Antony and Martial will miss the game through injury, while Sancho is unwell and will also sit out the trip to Spain. Confirming the squad on their website, United explained: “Antony and Anthony Martial will remain at Carrington, to continue with their individual training work, while Jadon Sancho is ill.”

Meanwhile, the positive news from the United camp is that Victor Lindelof is back available after recovering from illness and could come back into the XI. Lisandro Martinez and Harry Maguire started as the centre-back pairing in United’s narrow win over West Ham on Sunday, with Raphael Varane out through injury.

But the absence of Antony for the second successive game will be a massive blow for United, given the Brazilian’s impressive impact since his £86million move from Ajax in the summer. The 22-year-old received some pretty brutal criticism after he performed a double-pirouette in United’s 3-0 success over Sheriff Tiraspol last Thursday.

Antony was subsequently hooked at half-time and Ten Hag revealed after the game that he will “correct him” for producing that skill that ended up coming to nothing. Paul Scholes was amongst those critical of Antony and told BT Sport: “If I was that number 61 [Sheriff defender] I know what I’d be doing! I don’t know what he’s [Antony] doing. It’s just ridiculous. It’s showboating.”

Another blow for United is that Martial won’t be involved as he continues his rehabilitation from injury at Carrington, with the Frenchman recovering from a back injury. The Red Devils confirmed on Monday that Martial had returned to first-team training after sustaining the issue in the 2-1 win at Everton on October 2, but he isn’t fit enough to play any part for Ten Hag’s men in Sociedad.

Sancho is the final United first-team player to miss out, with the England international struggling with illness. The 22-year-old was named as an unused substitute in the Red Devils’ win over West Ham – a game that saw Anthony Elanga start in his place.


Man Utd squad for Real Sociedad: De Gea, Dubravka, Vittek; Lindelof, Maguire, Martinez, Malacia, Dalot, Shaw, Wan-Bissaka; Fernandes, Eriksen, Fred, Casemiro, Pellistri, Van de Beek, McTominay, Iqbal; Ronaldo, Rashford, Elanga, Shoretire, Garnacho.


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