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SportTen Hag relieved as Casemiro, Martinez and Shaw back in contention for...

Ten Hag relieved as Casemiro, Martinez and Shaw back in contention for Tottenham clash

Erik ten Hag is relieved to see Manchester United’s injury problems easing ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Tottenham, with Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw all back in contention.

United have endured a torrid second season under Ten Hag and sit nine points adrift of the top four – and eight behind fifth-placed Spurs – ahead of Sunday’s game at Old Trafford.

Their cause has not been helped by a series of injuries to key players, particularly in defence and in the centre of midfield.

Casemiro and Shaw have each made just eight league appearances in injury-hit campaigns, while Martinez has not played since mid-September after suffering a recurrence of the foot problem which ended his 2022-23 season.

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With a crucial test of United’s European credentials on the horizon, Ten Hag is pleased to have more options at his disposal, though he stressed the need to be patient with those returning from long lay-offs.

“We have had a lot of injuries, this week in training over the last couple of days, Lisandro Martinez [has been] training, Casemiro, training, Luke Shaw, training,” he said on Friday.

“Our players are returning and they are coming in for selection for Sunday.

“[Christian] Eriksen was ill in the week, he will return, Antony will return, Amad Diallo will return, so we have more choices in this moment to put out a starting 11 and to create a stronger bench.”

With Casemiro having been sidelined since November 1 and Martinez last featuring in a UEFA Champions League clash with Bayern Munich on September 20, Ten Hag knows the South American duo may need time to reach peak fitness.

“First it has to happen, that they are back, but it is positive they are back on the training ground,” he said. “They will go back to the team, and then to 100 per cent match fitness.”

“When I talk about Martinez and Casemiro returning, they were away a long time.

“Mason Mount will return but it will take a little bit longer, Tyrell Malacia will return as well, Victor Lindelof is also on his way back but it will take some weeks. It takes time to get back to match fitness.”

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