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Manchester United at risk after total ‘shocker’ as Eddie Howe weighs up major Newcastle decision

Newcastle United supporters will be hoping Manchester United midfielder Casemiro is once again deployed at centre-back on Wednesday after watching the Brazilian enjoy a horror few weeks in the role.

The Red Devils have been without the likes of Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane and Willy Kambwala of late, meaning Casemiro has been used to partner veteran Jonny Evans at the heart of the defence. It’s safe to say the enforced change has not worked, however, with the former Real Madrid star looking devoid of all confidence in his new position.

Casemiro was caught out repeatedly as Crystal Palace demolished his side at Selhurst Park earlier this month, while he did himself no favours in Sunday’s defeat to Arsenal when sluggishly playing the Gunners onside for the only goal of the game. As such, Newcastle will no doubt be targeting the out of form midfielder should Erik ten Hag choose to persist with his experiment.

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Discussing Casemiro’s performance in the 4-0 defeat to Palace, outspoken Manchester United legend Roy Keane sought to defend the player, while admitting his display was a dire one.

“When you get to 31 or 32, every time you’ve a bad game – and listen, it was a shocker [Casemiro’s performance] – I had ‘ahh you’re finished,’ but players can get through it, if players are played in their bloody best position,” he said on The Overlap. “I looked at Casemiro the other night, and he’s having a bad time but I look at the other players and he’s obviously not getting any help.”

Adding to the debate, fellow Red Devils icon Rio Ferdinand later said on his YouTube channel: “When is he [Ten Hag] going to take Casemiro out of the backline. Why can’t Ambrabat play there or Scott McTominay? Was Scott [McTominay] injured? I just don’t think it’s fair.”

The Manchester United boss has certainly received some stick regarding Casemiro being the player chosen to fill in at the back but the Premier League strugglers did welcome Kambwala back off the bench over the weekend, while Martinez is expected to be in the squad to face Newcastle on Wednesday.

Newcastle may well be facing their own issues at the opposite end of the pitch, with both Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson classed as doubts for the trip to Manchester. The duo have not trained in recent days due to illness, according to Howe, with the Magpies boss set to make a late call on both before the Old Trafford clash.

Isak came off with Newcastle chasing a winner in the draw with Brighton on Saturday, while Wilson missed the St James’ Park showdown altogether. Howe insists the latter should be fit for Brentford this weekend should he miss the midweek clash.

Howe has a major decision to make as to whether Isak is risked to lead the line – but should the striker shake off his illness before the clash he will no doubt fancy his chances against Casemiro if the struggling midfielder is once again tasked with a defensive role. The Swede has found the net in seven of his last 10 Premier League games.

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/manchester-united-risk-after-total-29169185

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