Early team news for Charlton Carabao Cup tie
With a 3-1 FA Cup third-round victory over Everton in the books, Manchester United's focus now turns to the Carabao Cup quarter-final showdown against League One outfit Charlton Athletic on Tuesday (kick-off 20:00 GMT).
Erik ten Hag continued to tweak his side throughout a busy run over the festive period, and could make changes to his in-form team once more for the visit of the Addicks.
The Reds are on a seven-game winning streak and now have the opportunity to reach a cup semi-final for the first time under the Dutchman.
United’s World Cup representatives have largely embedded back into the squad now, including Argentina hero Lisandro Martinez, who got more minutes under his belt against Everton.
The battling defender came on in the closing stages against Bournemouth before playing just under a quarter of an hour on Friday, receiving a rapturous response from the United crowd when he entered the field in both games. The Charlton fixture may prove an excellent opportunity for him to add to those cameos.
Ten Hag will have to do without the leadership qualities of Bruno Fernandes however, who is suspended after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament during the round-of-16 victory over Burnley in December.
Bruno’s absence would have potentially provided a good opportunity for Donny van de Beek to feature, but he is expected to miss out in midweek, as we await an update on the nasty-looking injury that he suffered recently against Bournemouth.
The squad has been boosted of late by more minutes in the tank for Anthony Martial, who played just over three quarters of Friday's win against Everton, before he was withdrawn by Erik. The Frenchman has had some injury problems to battle this season and is therefore being carefully managed in order to help him avoid any further setbacks, according to the boss.
“His physical load is not, at this moment, so high that he can play every third day a game of 90 minutes,” said Ten Hag, during his pre-Charlton press conference. “So I have to manage that together with him.”
The game could also provide another opportunity for Antony to settle back in after the World Cup. He scored a vital opener in the win over the Toffees, having missed the previous victory over Bournemouth.
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"We have some hurdles to take but I think he is [going] in a good direction," he said prior to the Everton match. I can't force this process so I will be really happy in the moment he is returning in the squad for team training - that will be the next step."
United fans may catch a glimpse of January loan signing Jack Butland for the first time against Charlton. Martin Dubravka featured in the last round, but has now left the club after being recalled by Newcastle United.
''If you miss goalies, you can’t replace them with inexperienced goalkeepers,” Ten Hag told club media. “That’s the reason [we brought Butland in], we want to avoid that. We are really happy, we have a really experienced but also really skillful goalkeeper in.”
CHARLTON TEAM NEWS
Dean Holden’s side head to Manchester in good form, having secured back-to-back wins in League One.
Goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer missed the recent win over Lincoln City due to the implementation of concussion protocol following a training incident that saw him take a ball to the face.
Defender Eoghan O’Connell entered the field for the first time since the end of October against Lincoln last time out, while full-back Mandela Egbo will miss the upcoming game with a quad injury.
Despite that, the latter will be cheering his team-mates on come Tuesday evening. “I’m looking forward to the day out as I am sure many of the fans are,” Egbo told Charlton’s official website.
“It’s going to be a good day out. We deserve it, the fans deserve it, for what they have been through the last 10 years. It’s going to be a lovely day out, hopefully we can get a result as well but whatever happens, I’m sure we’ll enjoy it.”