Casemiro made his return from suspension in the Premier League against Crystal Palace at the weekend – and promptly picked up another one.
The Brazil international was shown a straight red card in the win against Palace, and has been hit with another ban.
The red card came amid a second half melee, and it felt like Casemiro was singled out by the referee. United may attempt to overturn it.
Nonetheless, they say ‘always look on the bright side’, and yes, there are reasons to be positive about Casemiro’s red card…
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Casemiro is rested for the ‘big games’
Casemiro will miss three matches. These will be the two Premier League games against Leeds United, and then the home match against Leicester City.
There could be worse games to miss. Casemiro will return for the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle United, and he will also be available for the FA Cup match with West Ham, and the subsequent Premier League game against Liverpool at Anfield.
If you had to begrudgingly choose three games among this stretch for Casemiro to miss, you would pick the ones he has been suspended for.
Amid this run, are two games against Barcelona in the Europa League. Casemiro will be fresh for both of these, and will get a much-needed rest.
Consider that Newcastle also have key midfielder Bruno Guimaraes resting by serving a three-match ban, this ensures Casemiro won’t be too burned out by time he goes up against his compatriot.
Marcel Sabitzer can immediately contribute
New signing Marcel Sabitzer was thrown in at the deep end for the final 10 minutes against Palace, and came through it well.
Erik ten Hag will have to start him in the Leeds matches, and they are games where the Austrian can become an immediate hero.
Rather than spend most of the first few weeks of his United tenure on the bench, Sabitzer is going to play right away. He is only here for a short time, and the loanee will be glad to contribute.
United must learn to play without Casemiro again
Manchester United have become a little reliant on Casemiro in recent months. He was missed against Arsenal, and certainly in the final 20 minutes against Palace.
This three-game run of league matches without the Brazilian will test United, and force the team to adapt.
In doing so, they will prove to themselves, and to opponents, that they can without him. This will be important, so that if Casemiro is unexpectedly forced out again, United won’t crumble.