Crystal Palace boss concerned about his club’s growing list of injuries ahead of the Carabao Cup match against Manchester United
Manchester United are set to face Crystal Palace in consecutive matches, first in the Carabao Cup and then in the Premier League next week.
The Red Devils secured their first Premier League victory since August, which was against Burnley on Saturday. The expectation is that they can maintain their winning form moving forward.
Having consecutive matches against Roy Hodgson’s Palace presents Erik ten Hag with an opportunity to rotate his squad, especially considering the importance of the upcoming matches in the UEFA Champions League.
However, the Eagles’ manager is facing issues with his squad as compared to his counterpart. Ahead of his team’s Carabao Cup match at Old Trafford on Wednesday, the English manager has openly talked about the current state of his squad.
In a conversation with Gary Taphouse (as quoted by the Manchester Evening News), it appeared that Hodgson was growing increasingly frustrated due to the several injuries his team has been dealing with.
The Palace manager said:
“I can’t attack the Carabao Cup as I intended to do because I don’t have any players. I’m worried about Edouard’s hamstring. At the moment when I find out a player is out for three weeks, I’m relieved it’s not three months.”
Being the defending champions of the Carabao Cup, Man United might face expectations from their fans to field their strongest lineup in an attempt to defend the title.
However, given the current injury problems affecting the team, it could be a wise choice to rest their key players for the match.
Ten Hag can use the players who haven’t had opportunities so far. This will help him access their development and also plan his tactical setup.
This presents an opportunity to gauge the progress of youngsters like Dan Gore, Hannibal Mejbri, and especially Alejandro Garnacho, who hasn’t had a chance to start for United despite being on the bench against Burnley.
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The manager could use the vulnerability of Hodgson’s side for his benefit and field a strong team to help him pass to the next round of the cup competition.