Erik ten Hag has verified that five top players are currently sidelined with injuries.

The pressure on the Dutchman is mounting after Manchester United’s disappointing performance in a 3-0 loss to rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday. What concerned supporters the most was the manner of United’s defeat, as City appeared to be in complete control for much of the game, taking the lead through Erling Haaland’s controversial first-half penalty.

Several key United players have been struggling with form this season, with Rasmus Hojlund, Alejandro Garnacho, Anthony Martial, Mason Mount, and Antony failing to register a goal or an assist in any competition. Marcus Rashford, who scored 30 goals in all competitions last season, has managed to convert only 2.3% of his shots into a single Premier League goal this time.

it’s not just the lack of form that has led to United’s seven losses in all competitions this season. Injuries to key players have continued to plague the team, with defensive issues highlighted by Victor Lindelof being played out of position at left-back.For the upcoming Carabao Cup fourth-round match against Newcastle, Erik ten Hag will have to cope without Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia. Shaw is expected to return in late November after a muscle injury he suffered in August, and Malacia is on a similar timeline for his recovery.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is also sidelined due to a hamstring injury, and although he is nearing a return, he won’t be available to give Diogo Dalot a break on Wednesday night.The central defense is also facing issues due to Lisandro Martinez’s long-term foot injury.

Although Martinez’s abilities were questioned in the early months of last season, he proved his talent during Ten Hag’s first successful year in charge.

Against City, United relied on Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans in defense, as Ten Hag claimed that Raphael Varane’s absence from the starting lineup was a tactical decision. Whether this was the case remains uncertain, particularly given Varane’s injury-prone history.

Casemiro is also nursing an ankle injury and is unlikely to start in midfield.This means that Sofyan Amrabat, the only naturally defensive-minded midfielder at Ten Hag’s disposal, will continue to play in a United side that is struggling with confidence.

Ten Hag decided to forego a press conference on Wednesday, instead focusing on training. He hopes that the extra time on the training ground will help prepare his team for a Newcastle side that continues to score goals under Eddie Howe.

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