Leeds have been handed a major boost ahead of their Premier League clash against Manchester United on Sunday with the news that Anthony Martial has been ruled out for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team.
The Frenchman has been out of action since injuring his knee while on international duty back in March, and in some early team news confirmed by the club’s official website, the Red Devils are “still set to be without” him after he didn’t train with the rest of the squad on Thursday.
The news will come as a major relief to Marcelo Bielsa after the way in which the striker terrorised them in the reverse fixture back at Old Trafford, when Manchester United ran riot and put six past Leeds in an absolute demolition job.
While Martial didn’t get on the scoresheet, he picked up two assists and his 9.1 match rating (as per Sofascore) was the second-highest of any player on the pitch that day, only behind two-goal man of the match Scott McTominay.
The 25-year-old was at his electric best playing up front on his own, pulling Leeds centre-backs Liam Cooper and Luke Ayling this way and that with his quick feet and skills.
The Whites just couldn’t live with him at all, with Martial completing a whopping seven of his eight attempted dribbles on the day and earning his team a penalty after being fouled inside the area – to put that into context, the Frenchman has averaged just 1.6 successful dribbles per game in the Premier League this season.
He also created three official big chances, the most of any player, and provided a whopping four key passes, again the most of any player (Sofascore). His directness with the ball at his feet, and his creativity in picking out his teammates made him an absolute menace for Leeds to deal with and they will be happy not to see him on Sunday.
Knowing that they won’t have to come up against him again will be music to the ears of Bielsa, and could well prove to be a real game-changer in terms of who walks away with the three points this time around.