Football Features

Man United relying on a double injury boost vs Newcastle to solve their latest flaw

By Callum Rice-Coates

Published: 15:25, 14 May 2024

The goals have dried up for Manchester United in recent weeks.

In a season where conceding too often has been the main concern, Erik ten Hag now has another problem.

United have failed to score in back-to-back Premier League games, drawing a blank against Crystal Palace and Arsenal.

Ahead of a seismic FA Cup final against Manchester City — and their remaining two league games — Ten Hag will be hard at work to get his side firing again.

Fernandes return

The return of Bruno Fernandes from injury could immediately improve things.

His absence was keenly felt in the dismal defeat at Palace and an ineffective attacking display against Arsenal.

Fernandes has contributed a team-high 17 goals in the Premier League this season and has undoubtedly been United’s most consistent performer in a disappointing campaign.

He ranks first in the division for chances created (108) and penalty area entries (338).

With Fernandes back in training and expected to return soon, his influence will be key if United are to end the season strongly and perhaps lift a trophy.

Keep the faith

Given recent results, it would be easy for fans to lose patience with some of United’s attacking players.

However, continuing to back the likes of Rasmus Hojlund and Alejandro Garnacho is essential.

The latter looked threatening against Arsenal but is now without a goal in his last seven appearances.

Hojlund, likewise, has only scored once — against Sheffield United — since his spectacular run of form in January and February.

With Marcus Rashford also misfiring, United relies on youth to provide the necessary firepower up front.

Dangerous Diallo

Amad Diallo looks like an exciting prospect when given opportunities this season.

He impressed against Arsenal last weekend before coming off with an injury, after which the home side looked noticeably less dangerous going forward.

If, as expected, he is not out of action for long, Ten Hag could look towards the 21-year-old again to energise a struggling attack.

This season, he ranks first among United players in the Premier League for completed take-ons per 90 (3.12) and chances created from open play per 90 (2.34).

Only Garnacho (9.52) has averaged more touches in the opposition box per 90 than Diallo (7.79).

With more game time and experience at the top level, Diallo could be a difference-maker as the Red Devils search for attacking inspiration.