Manchester United are preparing for their biggest game of the season as Erik ten Hag’s men make the trip to Spain to face Barcelona in the round-of-32 Europa League play-off round.
The Catalan giants dropped down from this season’s Champions League, meaning they will take part in the Europa League for the second season running.
Both teams are in fine form going into the game but recently, United have been rocked by injuries and suspensions, with the midfield being the area most affected.
United’s issues with availability even prompted the club to do business in January, with Marcel Sabitzer brought in on loan to ease the workload.
Antony, last summer’s big-money signing, has missed the last two games through injury but speaking ahead of the game against Barcelona, Ten Hag provided a positive injury update on the Brazilian winger and midfielder Scott McTominay.
“I think they [McTominay and Antony] are on their way back, they are coming back to the training ground,” Ten Hag is quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.
“At the end of the week, maybe Scott can make the team, then next week, maybe Antony.”
As confirmed by the manager, it looks like both players will have to sit out the mouthwatering clash with Barcelona but there is finally light at the end of the tunnel, with both players expected to be back imminently.
With United’s fixture schedule busier than ever, Ten Hag will be desperate for his stars to prove their fitness sooner rather than later.
Casemiro will almost certainly return to the side in Barcelona, with Fred backed to start alongside his countryman. McTominay is joined by Christian Eriksen on the sidelines, while Sabitzer is suspended due to accumulation of yellow cards in the Champions League group stage with Bayern Munich.