Antony could miss the trip to Wembley and so Manchester United may be forced to shuffle their front three.
Manchester United were dealt a blow on Thursday when Antony was taken off on a stretcher against Chelsea inside half-an-hour with an injury described as “serious” by Erik ten Hag.
The winger looked in discomfort following a tackle from Trevoh Chalobah and now is considered a big doubt for the FA Cup final against Manchester City in eight days’ time. Antony has been a prominent part of Ten Hag’s plan this season.The Brazilian has played 44 times, 39 of those being starts, and has recorded eight goals and three assists. His potential absence would be a huge miss for United, although there are several players who can step into the gap left on the right flank.The Brazilian has played 44 times, 39 of those being starts, and has recorded eight goals and three assists. His potential absence would be a huge miss for United, although there are several players who can step into the gap left on the right flank.Behind the front three, the midfield trio and back line might well select itself. David de Gea will undoubtedly start with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw as the full-backs.
Victor Lindelof will likely partner Raphael Varane at centre-half with Lisandro Martinez out for the season while Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes are backed to start in front of them.Marcus Rashford became the first United player since Robin van Persie 10 years ago to score 30 goals in a season after finding the net against Chelsea. To start him anywhere else but the left would be criminal, especially after being so ineffective as the loan striker in October’s 6-3 defeat to City.
Martial is one away from hitting double figures this term and is United’s best centre-forward by a distance. Ten Hag has trusted in Sancho despite a period of stagnant form in recent weeks.
Not only is he likely his preferred back-up to Antony, Sancho has played much more fluidly when on the right. He has two goals and an assist from 10 games in the position this season – a better output than his three goals and two assists in 19 games on the leftA lot of fans are not satisfied with Martial’s overall contributions this season when not injured, and so wouldn’t be too disheartened not to see him in the line-up. Alejandro Garnacho is the popular choice.
He would be deserving of a start in the final, and he has shown in his character that he would not get over-awed by the occasion. If he does come in, then Rashford would likely be the one leading the line.
This is most likely the front three Ten Hag will finish with given Martial is yet to see out a whole 90 minutes this season, but of course there is the possibility he fields it from theA third scenario sees Martial retain his place and begin Rashford on the right. Ten Hag seems to have learned his lesson by playing Fernandes on the flank and would be taking a risk if he did so against this City team.