Manchester United can reach the FA Cup semi-final for the first time in three years when they take on Fulham at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.
The Red Devils last progressed to the final four of the competition back in 2020 and haven’t won the cup since 2016 when they beat Crystal Palace at Wembley. Erik ten Hag will be keen to change that statistic as United go searching for their second trophy of the season after winning the Carabao Cup.
Sunday’s kick-off presents an opportunity for Erik ten Hag’s side to reach Wembley again, with the semi-finals of the competition staged at the national stadium.
However, Fulham represent tough opponents as they currently sit comfortably in ninth place in the Premier League table, having had a full week to prepare for the big game.
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During his pre-match interview with club media at Carrington, the manager was asked to provide an update on two of the midweek absentees ahead of the cup contest.
Brazil winger Antony missed the 1-0 win over Real Betis due to illness and Anthony Martial was also not on the trip, despite returning to training recently.
“So we have to talk about [it] and I think Anthony Martial will not be available and Antony dos Santos, we have to see how he will progress,” commented Ten Hag.
Marcel Sabitzer, who turned 29 on Friday, made his comeback after a short lay-off, when coming off the bench in the second half in the Europa League tie.
In goal, David de Gea is almost a certainty to start every game between now and the end of the campaign now, unless the Spaniard suffers an injury or is suspended. He is enjoying a rich vein of form in the United side and recorded back-to-back clean sheets last time out for the first time since December.
Meanwhile, it is at the back where Ten Hag is set to make a series of alterations. Diogo Dalot could replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the right side, with Luke Shaw also coming in for Tyrell Malacia.
Harry Maguire made a rare start against Betis but is expected to move to the bench with Raphael Varane replacing him as he returns from a spell out injured. The only player to keep their place in the back-line would be Lisandro Martinez, who has been a mainstay in the side since his move from Ajax.
Casemiro starts the first of his four-game domestic ban, following his red card in last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Southampton.
“We did really well without Casemiro, against Arsenal, the two against Leeds,” said Erik during his press conference.
“I think we also did really well without Casemiro also at the start of the season, but I want to have Casemiro available, because he has a huge impact on our game.”
Alejandro Garnacho joined the list of absentees when suffering ankle-ligament damage, late in that game with the Saints. Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen are also still out.