Manchester United manager Eric den Haag has announced that French striker Anthony Martial will miss his side’s first game of the new English Premier League season against Brighton and Hove Albion tomorrow (Sunday) due to a minor injury.
The Dutch coach hinted that new players Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez could feature in the starting line-up.
Martial scored three goals for United during pre-season friendlies after returning from a loan spell at Seville in Spain, and coach Den Haag is confident the player’s recovery can be completed soon.
“These kinds of injuries are always difficult to deal with, but we hope they won’t last long,” den Haag told reporters.
Den Haag did not specify whether or not Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo will be involved in Sunday’s game.
Ronaldo missed United’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia and did not feature in the friendly, which he lost against Atletico Madrid, while he played 45 minutes in United’s 1-1 draw with Spain’s Rayo Vallecano. .
Ronaldo’s future at United has been the subject of speculation after British media reported he told the club he wanted to leave to play in the Champions League, while United will compete in the Europa League this season.
Den Haag added, “I am very happy. We have a great class of strikers. He is here, he is in the team, we are sticking to the plan and I think we have to look forward to the first game. We want to win every game and we will try to do that from Sunday.
Last season, United finished sixth in the English Premier League and will be looking to achieve better results in the new season.
At the end of the English Premier League, Manchester United suffered a four-way defeat against Brighton in the Red Devils’ worst season, settling for sixth place to qualify for the Europa League.
However, Den Haag’s task was not easy and was complicated by the difficulties he faced in securing the services of Barcelona’s Dutch midfielder Frankie de Jong, and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo’s desire to leave in hopes of joining the Champions League team.
Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp, on the other hand, compared player safety to climate change, which everyone knows but is unwilling to face, and called on football authorities to intervene before it’s too late.
Klopp expressed his anger at the addition of this year’s World Cup to an already crowded schedule, with the matches ending five months before the end of the domestic leagues in May.
The Premier League will be suspended from November 12 until Christmas for the World Cup finals in Qatar from November 21 to December 18.
“If you reach the World Cup final and win or play in the third-place match, you will be very busy and you will be back in a week,” Klopp told reporters ahead of Liverpool’s opener against Fulham.
He added: “There is no problem if all the players rest (after the World Cup), that’s fine, it will be like the winter break I had when I played in Germany for about four weeks. I get really angry when I start talking about it, it’s like climate change, we all know there has to be a change but no one tells us what to do.
Klopp called on sports authorities such as FIFA, the English Premier League and the FA to put their interests aside and find a way to ease the burden on players.
He continued, “They should have a meeting and talk together, and the most important issue that needs to be addressed is the safety of the players and there should be a change.”