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Manchester United receive big boost ahead of Brighton clash and FA Cup final

Published: Updated: 14:11, 19 May 2024
The return of Varane and Lindelof will provide much needed strength in defence

Manchester United fans have a reason to cheer as Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof, and Anthony Martial are back in training ahead of the team's final match of the 2023-24 Premier League season against Brighton & Hove Albion. The Red Devils are set to face the Seagulls on Sunday afternoon with an aim to secure seventh spot in the Premier League table.

Securing seventh place would guarantee Manchester United a spot in European football next season. However, even if Erik ten Hag's side ends up in eighth place, they will have another shot at qualifying for Europe through the FA Cup. Their opponents? None other than Manchester City - their rivals and current holders of the cup.

A victory over Pep Guardiola's side at Wembley Stadium would see Man United secure a position in the group stage of the 2024-25 Europa League.

The injury situation at Man United is finally easing up. Willy Kambwala is back to fitness while Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Lisandro Martinez all made their returns during Wednesday's 3-2 win over Newcastle United.

Maguire and Shaw to miss Brighton clash

Man United recently released images from training showing Varane, Lindelof and Martial back on field. All three players could potentially be part of this weekend’s Manchester United squad against Brighton.

Varane has been out since April due to a muscular problem but is expected to participate in Man United's final two games before leaving on a free transfer. Lindelof has recovered from his hamstring issue that had him benched since March end while Martial is also set for action after undergoing groin surgery earlier this year.

However, Mason Mount remains doubtful due to an unspecified issue. Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia will miss the game against Brighton.

Martinez, Rashford and Fernandes likely to feature

Ten Hag hinted that Martinez, Rashford and Fernandes would again be involved in this weekend's match after their successful return from injury. Maguire is expected to be back for the FA Cup final but Shaw remains a major doubt for the clash with Man City. The left-back also faces a challenge to represent England at Euro 2024.

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United manager, said:

"Bruno didn't miss so much and he's fit, I would say that is one of my least concerns, if he can keep going.

"He's fresh and he's in very good form but the others you mentioned, it's important [to get game time]. They missed some games. Rashford, since Coventry, but, of course, Licha Martinez missed, I would say, almost the whole season. So every minute that he can get, we have to give him."

Manchester United's upcoming matches are crucial not only for their standing in the Premier League but also for securing a spot in European football next season. With key players returning from injuries just in time, fans can expect some exciting football action ahead.

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