Erik Ten Hag has some of his players back at Carrington on Monday as Manchester United prepare for their Carabao Cup semi-final.
Manchester United were back at Carrington on Monday as they prepare for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Nottingham Forest.
The Reds will be desperate to bounce back quickly from Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at Arsenal, a result that left level on points with Newcastle United and six above Tottenham Hotspur in fifth. Erik Ten Hag’s side looked set to leave the Emirates with a point before Eddie Nketiah’s gut-wrenching 90th-minute winner.
But with this season’s fixture list as congested as ever, and with United still competing in every competition possible to them, there is no time to dwell on defeats, and Ten Hag had many of his players back at Carrington earlier today before they head to the City Ground.
Below, MEN Sport have discussed three key takeaways from Monday’s session.
Casemiro raring to return
Many of those who featured on Sunday were absent from full group training for obvious reasons, but the presence of Casemiro will be welcome relief for United fans who saw their midfield struggle in North London. The 30-year-old was suspended for that clash after picking up a fifth booking in the midweek draw at Crystal Palace, and was sorely missed.
The silver lining of the Brazilian’s absence is that he will be fresh and raring to return come Wednesday, allowing Ten Hag to have arguably his most influential player this season available at the City Ground. Casemiro was spotted as part of a tight possession drill alongside Fred and Brandon Williams.
Jadon Sancho continues comeback
Jadon Sancho continued his reintegration into first-team action, having been absent since the end of October. The 22-year-old last featured for the Reds in the 1-1 draw against Chelsea earlier that month, with Ten Hag confirming he had been struggling with his fitness.
The winger was spotted for the first time last Thursday and has again been fully involved as he continues to build match sharpness. Could Sancho make his return to action at Forest Wednesday?
Young stars handed chance to impress
With the majority of those who featured at the Emirates resting today, group training has again offered the youngsters a chance to make an impression and stake their claim for some minutes this week. While Ten Hag will likely deploy a strong side for Wednesday’s semi-final, the Dutchman may be inclined to ring the changes for Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round clash against Reading.
The likes of Facundo Pellistri, Alejandro Garnacho, Anthony Elanga and Zidane Iqbal were all put through their paces at Carrington, perhaps taking this opportunity to lean on the more experienced heads of Casemiro and Harry Maguire while the group was smaller than usual.