Manchester United finds itself in a challenging position as it faces an escalating injury crisis ahead of the imminent FA Cup final against local rivals, Manchester City. The Red Devils have been hit with a significant blow, with forward Anthony Martial now confirmed to be sidelined for the critical showdown at Wembley Stadium on June 3rd.
Martial's career at Old Trafford may have reached an unexpected conclusion following a hamstring injury sustained during United's 2-1 triumph over Fulham in their concluding Premier League clash of the 2022-23 season. After medical assessments, it was disclosed that the French forward has suffered a muscle tear, as officially announced by the Manchester United team.
This injury casts a shadow over Martial's future at United. Manager Erik ten Hag has expressed concern about Martial's fitness record, and with just one year remaining on his current contract, the French international might face a transfer in the approaching summer window. It's notable that Martial hasn't completed a full 90-minute Premier League match since January 2021.
In a season of roughly 60 games across all competitions, Martial was absent for 27 due to various injury issues. A significant hip injury in February led to a nine-game hiatus. In the current season, Martial graced the pitch 29 times for United, scoring nine goals and assisting three, six of those goals originating from his 21 Premier League appearances.
The Red Devils have crossed paths with City twice in this season, both occasions during Premier League bouts. The first encounter resulted in a disheartening 6-3 defeat at Etihad Stadium, with Martial, despite coming off the bench, contributing two of United's three goals.
Meanwhile, Martial isn't United's lone injury worry for the FA Cup final. Antony, the Brazilian forward, was dramatically removed from the field during United's 4-1 victory over Chelsea recently. Yet, ten Hag remains optimistic that Antony, who had an £82m transition from Ajax to United last year, might recuperate in time for the City clash.
Antony, despite experiencing various injuries causing him to miss nine games this season, has made a commendable impact at his new club, contributing 10 goals and five assists in 47 appearances. Antony's superb strike against FC Barcelona in the Europa League earned him Manchester United's Goal of the Season for the 2022-23 campaign.
As they prepare for the clash, Manchester United sets sights on securing a domestic double, following their League Cup victory, while Pep Guardiola's City team, already Premier League champions, aim for an astounding treble, with the Champions League final on their agenda alongside the FA Cup final.