Manchester United confirm two key players injury blow ahead of Chelsea clash 

Manchester United confirm two key players injury blow ahead of Chelsea clash

Manchester United have confirmed a major new double defensive injury blow ahead of Thursday night’s clash against Chelsea, with Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof both set to miss at least a month of action.

Lindelof sustained a hamstring injury during the second half of Saturday evening’s dramatic 1-1 Premier League draw against Brentford and was replaced after 69 minutes by Martinez, who came on at the Gtech Community Stadium to make his first appearance for almost two months following knee ligament damage suffered in the 3-0 win over West Ham in February.

The luckless Argentine previously missed four months between September and January following a second operation on a recurring foot injury, having also sat out the end of last season after undergoing initial surgery on his fractured metatarsal.

And Martinez has now suffered yet another injury setback, with United confirming in an official update on Tuesday night that he had picked up a calf strain during a post-Brentford training session.

Both Martinez and Lindelof now face at least four weeks on the sidelines, ruling them out of some key matches including Thursday’s trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea.

United also host fierce rivals Liverpool in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday just three weeks after their stunning victory over the Reds in extra-time of an epic FA Cup quarter-final showdown, with the semi-final meeting with Championship play-off hopefuls Coventry scheduled for April 21 at Wembley, sandwiched between top-flight dates with Bournemouth and Sheffield United.

Erik ten Hag’s side also face Burnley, Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Brighton in the league before the end of the season. The FA Cup final is on May 25, with United in line to face either cross-city rivals and holders Manchester City in a repeat of last season’s final or Chelsea, if they can get past Coventry first.

United currently sit sixth in the Premier League table, 11 points adrift of the top four, after a bizarre draw at Brentford in which they were firmly second best throughout a one-sided match before eventually being denied a last-gasp victory when Mason Mount’s stoppage-time effort was quickly cancelled out by Kristoffer Ajer.

Brentford had 31 shots against United, who have given up more efforts than any other Premier League team so far in 2024. Indeed, only bottom club Sheffield United have allowed more shots than Ten Hag’s men over the course of the whole season.

The injuries to Martinez and Lindelof will unlikely improve that situation, with Raphael Varane also taken off as a precaution at half-time against Brentford and replaced by Harry Maguire.

Defensive trio Luke Shaw, Jonny Evans and Tyrell Malacia are all still sidelined for United, along with forward Anthony Martial and back-up goalkeeper Altay Bayindir.

If Varane is unable to play and with no Martinez or Lindelof either, then 19-year-old academy graduate Willy Kambwala could have a key role for United in the coming days.

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