Manchester United midfielder Casemiro was sent off in the 70th minute during United’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford because of an incident with Will Hughes.
The United fans would have been annoyed to have seen Casemiro sent off because it now means that he will miss three matches, which are against Leeds United, both home and away, and then Leicester City at Old Trafford, however, the performances of both Fred and Marcel Sabitzer should give the United fans reasons to feel confident that the team can cope without their influential midfielder.
Scott McTominay, Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek all missed the game against the Eagles due to injury and Casemiro’s suspension lessens United’s midfield options, however, I feel as though that losing Casemiro for the next three games is a blow, but it is not a huge blow, which I will explain why below.
The suspension of Casemiro means that the Reds will not be able to call upon the experience and tactical nouse of breaking up play that the former Real Madrid man brings, however, I think that Fred and Sabitzer can more than cover for the Brazilian’s absence because of the qualities that they can bring to the table against two energetic sides in Leeds and Leicester.
In the Crystal Palace game, Fred and Sabitzer, who joined United from Bayern Munich on Deadline Day, positioned themselves effectively and they both worked well together as they prevented Palace from playing through United and you can argue that both Fred and Sabitzer compliment each other nicely.
During the Palace game, it was noticeable how Fred’s energy and ability to manoeuvre and shift complimented the Austrian, who was not afraid to get stuck in and he was calm on the ball as United held on to secure a vital three points against Palace.
Leeds and Leciester are both energetic sides so therefore the duo’s energy in midfield will be important in those games as they look to contain both Leeds and Leicester and stop them from playing, given that they are both attacking minded sides and like to play on the front foot, and going forward Fred and Sabitzer will be key because their ability to win the ball back will be crucial to helping United sustain attacks regularly and pinning their opponents back.
Even though losing an influential midfielder in Casemiro is a blow, it is not the worse thing in the world that the United number 18 is suspended because it means that he will be fully rested and fresh for the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle at the end of the month, as well as the two games against Barcelona in the UEFA Europa League in February.