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Home Sports Erik ten Hag will be very happy to have Marcus Rashford and Lisandro Martinez back ( Image: Getty Images)

Erik ten Hag will be very happy to have Marcus Rashford and Lisandro Martinez back ( Image: Getty Images)

by Tunae
Erik ten Hag applauding after Manchester United v Burnley

Manchester United have welcomed back Marcus Rashford and Lisandro Martinez ahead of their Premier League match against Arsenal on Sunday.

United are in the doldrums as they approach the end of the season, with morale inside the dressing room at rock bottom following the 4-0 thrashing by Crystal Palace. Erik ten Hag’s side have won just two of the last 10 Premier League matches and sit eighth with three games remaining.

They face the prospect of missing out on any European football next season if they don’t pick up some points in the league, or win the FA Cup on May 25. Part of the problem this season has been the dreadful injury record, which has prompted Sir Jim Ratcliffe to order a review into what is behind it.

Ten Hag has been forced to deal with more than 60 separate injuries or illnesses to his squad since August. Defence has been a particularly hard-hit area, with 31 different defensive combinations fielded in 48 games, partly due to Martinez’s absence.

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The Argentina international has made just 11 appearances this season and has not played since the 1-1 draw at Brentford on March 30. He has now recovered from a calf strain suffered in training and is back in full training ahead of the visit of Arsenal to Old Trafford on Sunday.

Rashford has not spent as long on the sidelines, but has been missing since picking up a knock in the FA Cup semi-final against Coventry on April 21. He is now in line to make his 400th senior appearance for United this weekend.

Having been forced to field veteran Jonny Evans alongside Casemiro in central defence against Palace, Ten Hag will be particularly pleased to welcome back Martinez. The World Cup winner was brought to the club by Ten Hag from Ajax and has been hailed for his leadership qualities. The coaching staff reportedly believe his vocal nature to has been a huge miss this season.

Lisandro Martinez of Manchester United

Lisandro Martinez has been struggling with a calf injury (


Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

“For over 10 years I am managing, I never had this experience,” Ten Hag said before the Crystal Palace match. “So huge, so many injury issues, so I trust all my experience, it can happen once in 10 years. Hopefully now I have to wait another 10 to have so many injuries to deal with.”

United remain without Tyrell Malacia, who has missed the entire season with a knee problem, Luke Shaw (thigh), Harry Maguire (muscle injury), Victor Lindelof (thigh), Willy Kambwala (muscle injury), meaning their defence is still threadbare. Arsenal have won seven of their last eight away games in the Premier League, scoring 27 times and conceding just three goals in the process, so won’t be an easy task for Ten Hag and his players.

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