It goes without saying that Anthony Martial’s 2020/21 season has so far been very disappointing.
The Frenchman has scored only two goals, the most recent of which came six weeks ago.
Fortunately, Manchester United’s midweek fixture comes against the perfect opponents for him; Sheffield United.
It was a fixture against the Blades in June that Martial’s 2019/20 season peaked.
Martial struck his first ever hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Sheffield United at Old Trafford at the end of June.
It was a big moment for the Frenchman as he displayed a ruthless edge in front of goal.
He did not quite kick on after this, however, scoring three in his next six league games, and then one in three Europa League fixtures.
It wasn’t cause for concern as he finished as the club’s top scorer on 23 goals. This season however, he has gone backwards.
Martial has scored just two goals in 12 appearances, and has also drawn blanks when he has featured for France.
Setbacks over with?
The game against Sheffield United could be ideal to ignite Martial’s season.
He has had to deal with a suspension after an early season red card, and an injury which caused him to miss out on United’s Champions League showdown against RB Leipzig.
None of those excuse his easy misses against West Brom and PSG, and Martial clearly has some improving to do.
United’s attack struggled against City without him, with Edinson Cavani also out.
Martial’s hold up play is superior to both of Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood and he helps United function better as a team.
There are no more international breaks as a distraction, and hopefully with suspensions and injuries behind him, Martial can kick on over the next few months.
He will face competition from Cavani for the central striker spot, but he cannot sulk about it.
His form no longer warrants him to be an automatic starter. He must step up and rise to the challenge to fight for his spot.
This week is an ideal time to start. Sheffield United are out of form and low in confidence, and they will be fearful of Martial.
Another hat-trick could change everything for Martial, although at this point we would take one goal and hope he can build from there.
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