Manchester United's injury woes grow ahead of Liverpool showdown

The potential list of absentees for Manchester United ahead of their trip to Anfield this weekend is getting longer and longer.

Erik ten Hag's team face Liverpool on Sunday evening and may have to do so without ten first-team players due to a combination of suspension, illness and injury.

Captain Bruno Fernandes will miss out after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in United's embarrassing 0-3 home loss to Bournemouth on Saturday. Now, illness has besieged the squad ahead of the Red Devils' crucial do-or-die Champions League tie with Bayern Munich tonight (Tuesday).

Fresh blows

An open training session prior to the clash with the German champions revealed that both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were missing, reportedly due to illness, casting doubt on their availability for the Liverpool fixture, too.

Christian Eriksen, Mason Mount, Amad Diallo and Tyrell Malacia remain sidelined for the long term, while Victor Lindelof, Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro aren't expected to return to full fitness until after Christmas.

The tally of unavailable players rises to 12 when you also factor in that Raphael Varane remains out of favour with ten Hag and Jadon Sancho has been banished from the first-team setup following his social-media outburst when the coach publicly questioned his readiness to play.

Makeshift line-ups

The ramifications of all these absences were evident in Saturday's defeat to the Cherries in which Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire formed a makeshift centre-back pairing.

Now the problem shifts to midfield, with Scott McTominay potentially being forced further forward to fill the void left by Fernandes' suspension.

In attack, the absence of Martial and Rashford will increase the pressure on 20-year-old Rasmus Hojlund, who boasts an impressive Champions League record (five goals in five games) but is yet to open his goalscoring account in the Premier League.

United's recent form, with just one win in their last four games, makes Liverpool overwhelming favourites to win on Sunday evening.

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