Dutch football expert explains why Antony and Lisandro Martinez could dominate Manchester derby

Dutch football expert Marcel van der Kraan has explained why he believes Antony and Lisandro Martinez could dominate the Manchester derby.

Like their former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag, the South American duo are set to play in their first Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Antony returned to training at Carrington yesterday having made two substitute appearances for Brazil during the international break.

Martinez wasn’t pictured training alongside United’s number 21 as he played 12 minutes of Argentina’s 3-0 win against Jamaica in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Dutch football expert explains why Antony and Lisandro Martinez could dominate Manchester derby

Before sealing their moves to Ajax, the pair plied their trade and caught Ten Hag’s attention by impressing in the South American leagues.

Van der Kraan, who writes for Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, believes that the fiery South American duo relish playing in the bigger games, especially the derbies due to the intensity and importance the games bring.

Ahead of the clash against Pep Guardiola and Erling Haaland’s Manchester City, Van der Kraan spoke about how he expects both Martinez and Antony to relish playing in the Manchester derby for the first time.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, the Dutch reporter said: “Well he’s got great memories Antony of all the big matches in his life. When he played for Ajax in big games he was brilliant.

“Now we all say Haaland is a big game player, but so is Martinez, so is Antony and why have they got that little edge sometimes?

“It’s because when they used to play in South America, the bigger the games – the more ferocious the tackles, the more physical the game got, and that’s what they thrive on.

“The easy games we never really saw a difference in Martinez or Antony, but when it was The Dutch Classico (Ajax v Feyenoord) or when it was the big Champions League games those two were always absolutely brilliant.

“I think Antony is really getting ready for this big derby.”

Antony showed his big match prowess by scoring on his Red Devils debut against Arsenal at the start of the month, while Martinez relished getting engulfed in physical battles in the wins against the Gunners and Liverpool.

Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images

The Argentinian has already successfully thwarted Haaland once in his career and that came via a 4-0 win against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last season.

In that same game, Antony scored for the Amsterdam giants.

The South American duo will be hoping to grab the headlines come Sunday afternoon and help Ten Hag’s Reds win a massive fifth Premier League game in a row.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.