Explained: Why Marcel Sabitzer missed Man Utd's clash with Nottingham Forest
- Sabitzer injured in warm-up
- Missed 2-0 win at Forest
- Eriksen took over in midfield
WHAT HAPPENED? Sabitzer was due to start against Nottingham Forest, after scoring twice in midweek against Sevilla in the Europa League, but had to pull out of the game after suffering a groin injury in the warm-up. Manchester United confirmed just before kick-off that Eriksen would take his place in the starting XI, while goalkeeper Nathan Bishop was added to the bench for the match.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Manager Erik ten Hag spoke about Sabitzer after the game and hinted it was not a serious injury but the club were keen not to take any risks.
"Sabitzer came off in the warm up, he felt something," he said. "We decided not to take the risk, we will find out tomorrow what it is. But when you have Eriksen on the bench, it is definitely not a disadvantage."
AND WHAT'S MORE: Eriksen came into the team and put in an impressive showing as Manchester United ran out 2-0 winners at the City Ground. The game was the Dane's first start since he suffered a serious ankle injury in the FA Cup win over Reading in January.
Eriksen told reporters of his reaction to being thrust unexpectedly into the starting lineup: "I didn’t get a lot of notice! The players did some finishing at the end [of the warm-up], that’s always the last drill before they do some sprints and go in. Before they finished, I heard Marcel was hurt. At the time I didn’t know if I was going to be picked or not, I was told just to be ready. Mentally I was ready, whether I was on the bench or playing."
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DID YOU KNOW? Manchester United have won 15 and lost none of the 17 matches in which Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, and Bruno Fernandes have all started together in all competitions (D2) - a win rate of 88 percent.
WHAT NEXT FOR MAN UTD? The Red Devils take on Sevilla in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday and then face Brighton on Sunday in the FA Cup semi-finals.