Manchester United have been handed a big blow with midfielder Casemiro suspended for the upcoming Premier League games against Leeds United and Leicester City.
The Brazilian star has been a pivotal figure in the centre of the park since October, but he has let down the team recently with his poor discipline on the playing field.
The 30-year-old missed the 3-2 defeat at Arsenal last month after receiving his fifth yellow card of the league campaign against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
He made his comeback against Palace this afternoon, but got himself sent off in the 70th minute after losing his temper and grabbing Will Hughes by the neck.
Jordan Ayew should have been sent off for a similar action on Fred, but this does not take away the blame from Casemiro, who should have controlled his emotions.
United are now set to be without Casemiro for the double header against Leeds on February 8 and February 12 as well as the Leicester game on February 16.
The good news is that the €50 million-rated star is available for the Europa League ties against Barcelona and the Carabao Cup final, but the club are bound to miss him in the league.
United have a tremendous record against Leeds since the latter’s top-flight promotion, but the club can’t be taken lightly as they are one of the division’s best pressing teams.
The Yorkshire outfit tend to be relentless with their high work rate and not having Casemiro could hamper United on the road with Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen injured.
Marcel Sabitzer, who made his debut off the bench today, will have to step up right away alongside Fred. He had a good cameo and will definitely be busy in the coming weeks.
The big challenge for the duo will be their defensive awareness. Sabitzer is strong with his tackling and ability to win duels, but the Austrian prefers to play in the number eight position.
Fred is a similar sort of player, who likes to press forward regularly. The Brazilian does not have the same concentration as Casemiro. He has been caught out of position many times in the past.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com