Casemiro picked up a three-game suspension for a straight red card in Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace.
United were in control of the game at 2-0 when a melee broke out by United’s right wing in the attacking third of the pitch.
Casemiro grabbed Will Hughes by the throat and the incident was picked up by VAR, meaning the Brazilian was handed his marching orders.
The midfielder just picked up a one-game ban against Palace last month, for his fifth yellow card of the campaign, and missed the 3-2 loss at Arsenal in United’s last Premier League match.
Will Casemiro miss the EFL Cup final through suspension?
His importance was underlined in that game and his suspension further deepens United’s midfield worries.
Donny van de Beek is already out for the season, Christian Eriksen is injured until late April at the earliest and Scott McTominay missed out here.
Marcel Sabitzer made his debut as a substitute here, and his deadline day loan signing looks even more important now, with Casemiro’s absence increasing the importance of him hitting the ground running.
Thankfully, United have three domestic games between now and the EFL Cup final against Newcastle on Sunday 26 February.
They are both the home and away fixtures against Leeds United, with the game at Old Trafford re-arranged for Wednesday night.
Then, United host Leicester the Sunday before their Wembley outing, so Casemiro’s first domestic game back will be the final.
That said, he will not go into the final short on match fitness, because United have both legs of their Europa League play-off against Barcelona before then.
So Casemiro’s red card could have worked out even worse for United, but it is still a blow, which piles the pressure on Sabitzer to shine.