Manchester United: How can Erik ten Hag fill Antony’s absence in the Starting XI?

Let us look at how Erik ten Hag will be able to replace Antony in the Starting XI for the remaining games.

File photo of Manchester United players; Credit: Twitter/ @EuropaLeague
By Karthik Raman | May 27, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Manchester United achieved one of their main goals of the season on Thursday night when they booked a Champions League ticket. A dominant 4-1 victory over old foes Chelsea meant United have sealed a top four place in the current Premier League campaign. However, the victory came at a cost, as their energetic winger on the right flank, Antony, was stretchered off in the first half. With manager Erik ten Hag describing Antony’s injury as “serious,” the club supporters are understandably left worried.

There is not long left in the current season. The Premier League campaign will end on Sunday and for Manchester United, that game is all about finishing third or fourth. However, they still have one more game left to be played in the form a FA Cup final against local rivals Manchester City. The fans will not mind Antony missing the final league game against Fulham, however, it will be a big blow if he will be absent from the final too. Either way, the Red Devils have able replacements in their squad. Let us look at how Erik ten Hag will be able to replace Antony in the Starting XI for the remaining games.

Play Jadon Sancho on right

When Antony was subbed off in the first half against Chelsea, ten Hag brought on Marcus Rashford to the left flank and pushed Jadon Sancho to the right. That moved worked splendidly for the home side. Sancho provided a great assist, coming in from the right flank, while Rashford scored the fourth of the night to take his tally to 30 goals for the season. Sancho has experience of playing on the right flank, however, it will be difficult for a right footer to have many shots with his strong foot from this flank. He will have to be content with linking the play up or crossing the ball more often than shooting from that side. However, that is something Sancho is more than capable of doing.

Move Marcus Rashford to right wing

Marcus Rashford has predominantly played on the left flank or as a striker. This is where he has thrived the most. However, there have been occasions when he has also been moved to the right wing. He has produced several thunderous low crosses from that flank which makes it difficult for defenders to deal with. This is a role he has also played for the England national team. Hence, Rashford could be moved to right wing and Alejandro Garnacho could start on the left flank, with Anthony Martial starting up front.

Bruno Fernandes taking up inverted right midfield role

Erik ten Hag has already proven that he is not afraid to tinker with the Starting XI this season. One of the most surprising changes was to see Bruno Fernandes playing in an inverted right midfield role. This move allowed ten Hag to play an extra midfielder on the pitch. Fernandes will not be the one who will be running on wide areas but instead he used to take up a role in between the central attacking midfielder and a right winger. With the full-back on the flank overlapping, Fernandes dictated the play from that position. It is something the Dutch manager could use again in the remaining games.

More Football Stories:

Champions League: What went wrong for Real Madrid in semi-final second leg?

Premier League: Which players have scored the most goals in a single season?

EPL stats: Which clubs have conceded the most last-minute winners in Premier League?

EPL stats: Which clubs have scored the most number of last-minute winners in Premier League?

Premier League: Who are the players with the most number of assists in EPL history?

Related Post