Casemiro replacements: How can Manchester United replace the Brazilian midfielder in the starting line-up?

Casemiro will miss their next three Premier League matches – Leeds United (both home and away) and Leicester City (home).

Casemiro in a file photo; Credit: Manchester United's twitter page
By Karthik Raman | Feb 5, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us


Manchester United had reasons to feel happy and disappointed at the same time following their 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace in the Premier League. The Saturday evening win at Old Trafford brought an end to United’s two-game winless run in the league. However, they got the three points at the expense of their star midfielder Casemiro getting sent off in controversial fashion. This is a massive blow for Erik ten Hag, as United look to secure their top four status in the Premier League.

In the second half of the game, when Manchester United were leading 2-0, the match came to a momentary halt following an on-field altercation. Ten Hag’s boys reacted angrily to Jeffrey Schlupp’s challenge on Antony, which saw the Brazilian rolling down off the pitch. In the chaos, Casemiro appeared to grab Will Hughes by the throat. Following a VAR intervention, referee Andre Marriner showed the Brazilian midfielder a straight red card. Therefore, Casemiro will miss their next three Premier League matches – Leeds United (both home and away) and Leicester City (home).

Casemiro has undoubtedly been the signing of the season for Manchester United in last summer transfer window. The Brazilian holding midfielder has carried forward his stupendous Real Madrid form into Old Trafford. He played a crucial role in the Spanish giants winning numerous domestic and European titles. After joining the Red Devils, Casemiro has maintained that level to help Erik ten Hag’s side reach an unlikely top four status, while remaining in contention in other cup competitions. However, Casemiro’s suspension will be a big blow for United. Hence, let us look at how Manchester United can cope without Casemiro in the Starting XI:

Marcel Sabitzer – Fred combination

Manchester United started the victory against Crystal Palace with the Brazilian duo in midfield. While one got his marching orders, the other stayed till the end and produced a brilliant performance. Fred had his critics in the past, however, he is now living up to those expectations brilliantly. His off-the-ball workrate and closing down has been impressive this season under ten Hag. The same qualities were on display by Bayern Munich loanee Marcel Sabitzer. Coming on as a substitute, he slotted in the midfield position seamlessly and immediately showcased his defensive prowess on Saturday. Together these two players can form a good partnership against the upcoming opponents.

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Lisandro Martinez – Fred combination

The absentee list is big at United and most of them are in midfield. Christian Eriksen, Donny van de Beek and Scott Mctominay are already missing. Casemiro’s red card only makes things worse for the Red Devils. However, ten Hag can find an unlikely saviour in converting Lisandro Martinez to a midfield role. It would not be something new for the Argentine World Cup winner, who has the experience of playing in the holding midfield role for ten Hag at Ajax previously. Martinez and Fred could end up forming a good partnership in the middle of the park, making it difficult for opponents to break them down.

Lisandro Martinez – Marcel Sabitzer combination

The only issue with Lisandro Martinez and Fred partnership is that both players are left footers. Hence, if ten Hag wants to have a right-left combination, the Dutch manager could play Marcel Sabitzer alongside Martinez. With the Argentine sitting back in a holding midfield role and shielding the defence, Sabitzer could do what he does best. The all-action Austrian midfielder can roam around the pitch to break up the play and win the ball back using his physicality and tireless workrate. This partnership could allow ten Hag to have two players in the midfield who are both good with and without the ball.



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