Manchester United’s under-18s return to action in the FA Youth Cup tonight against Stoke City.

But they will have to succeed without star playmaker Sam Mather, who has picked up an injury.

Mather, 18, scored in the last round in the 3-1 win over Crystal Palace, and played a key role in the side lifting the trophy last season.

In total in 2021/22 he produced 23 goal contributions, 10 goals and 13 assists, including three strikes in the FA Youth Cup.

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Sam Mather injured

Mather picked up an injury playing for a United under-19s side at a tournament in Germany last week.

Writing on Instagram, he wrote: “Be back soon…”

The extent of the injury is yet unclear, but he is not expected to be among the starting line-up for United this evening.

Manchester United’s game against Stoke will take place at 7pm and be shown on MUTV.

In the last round Maxi Oyedele and Manni Norkett were on the scoresheet, along with Mather, and both players are expected to feature tonight.

The fourth round tie will be Manchester United’s under-18s first game of 2023, with the side looking to take the next step to winning a record 12th FA Youth Cup.

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