Marcus Rashford is enjoying the kind of season few can dream of as he leads Manchester United’s charge on multiple fronts under Erik ten Hag.
The England international has been in particularly devastating form since returning from the 2022 World Cup, netting 16 goals in his last 18 games to help the Red Devils into the Carabao Cup final, the fifth round of the FA Cup and the last 16 of the Europa League. They’re even being tipped for a late Premier League title charge.
However, one of their key players is a doubt to face Newcastle at Wembley with the first piece of domestic silverware in the English season up for grabs.
Having starred in the first leg of Man Utd’s Europa League knockout play-off with Barcelona, scoring one goal and forcing another off Jules Kounde, Rashford featured in the return game at Old Trafford.
Robert Lewandowski scored an early penalty but Fred equalised from the edge of the box before Antony put United ahead in the 73rd minute.
Rashford was withdrawn late on for Scott McTominay and soon delivered an update on his fitness which left fans worried over his availability for the trip to Wembley. The 25-year-old posted a picture of himself walking with his boot off captioned with an injured emoji.
Manager Ten Hag couldn’t add much clarity to Rashford’s situation, admitting he was unsure if he would be available.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Players are now coming in, we have to do investigations, medical, of course, yesterday we did. So straight after a game most of the time you can’t say, you have to wait for a 100 per cent diagnosis. So let’s do the medical, the work, we have to wait.”
The big concern for Man Utd fans first and foremost is the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle on Sunday 26 February. United are aiming for their first piece of silverware since winning the 2016/17 Europa League but to have Rashford absent would be a big blow.
If he were to be forced onto the sidelines for the final, United’s next game is on Wednesday when they host West Ham in the fifth round of the FA Cup. That fixture previously would have been an ideal chance for Ten Hag to rest Rashford.
United have done excellently to remain a force in four competitions so far this season, but there’s no doubting their next handful of fixtures in March before the international break have the potential to make or break their campaign.
After the Carabao Cup final and West Ham’s FA Cup visit, Man Utd will hit the road and travel to Liverpool before the first leg of their Europa League last 16 tie with Real Betis.
A home clash with Southampton is a game United will be favourites to win before they travel over to Spain for the return leg of their Betis tie. Their visit to Brighton on Sunday 19 March will be their last game until April.