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PREMIER LEAGUE

What is Manchester United’s Premier League record with and without former Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro?

The Red Devils lost 2-0 at Newcastle United on Sunday, a game Casemiro was forced to sit out through suspension.

Update:
The Red Devils lost 2-0 at Newcastle United on Sunday, a game Casemiro was forced to sit out through suspension.
DARREN STAPLESAFP

It’s been a rough decade for Manchester United following the retirement of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Having won 13 Premier League titles in 21 seasons under the Scot, they haven’t won a single one since. Things have, however, been looking up under former Ajax boss Erik Ten Hag, who took charge at Old Trafford last summer, and there was even some talk of the Red Devils challenging for top spot just a few weeks ago. Not anymore, after Sunday’s loss to Newcastle United, which followed two other winless games.

United have won the Carabao Cup, are through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and the last eight of the Europa League but their recent league form means there are now serious doubts about whether they will qualify for the Champions League rather than qualify as champions, which there appeared to be slim chance of earlier in the year.

Manchester United’s Champions League fight

Ten Hag’s men suffered a historic 7-0 thrashing at the hands of bitter rivals Liverpool, who are not having a vintage season, followed it up with a goalless draw at home to lowly Southampton and have now lost meekly at Newcastle, who have leapfrogged them into third spot on goal difference. Tottenham Hotspur are just a point behind in fifth.

Eyebrows were raised at Ten Hag’s signing of Casemiro from Real Madrid last summer, not for the quality of player he had recruited (the Brazilian won three leagues and five Champions Leagues in Spain, after all) but for the amount of money – a reported €70 million – he had splashed on a 30-year-old. Yet Casemiro has, on the whole, been worth every last cent…when he has been on the pitch at least.

Casemiro receiving more cards than at Christmas

Since the 19th of January, the Brazil international has played only three of United’s nine league matches, missing six (yes, SIX) through suspension. He sat out a crucial game away to leaders Arsenal due to an accumulation of yellow cards, was handed a three-match ban after being sent off in his first game back at home to Crystal Palace and then incurred another suspension following another red card against Southampton. The other game he played in that run was that game in Liverpool…

The Red Devils’ struggles without the Brazilian

And it turns out that, despite that miserable afternoon at Anfield, Ten Hag and the Red Devils could really do with Casemiro in the team. As pointed out by stats guru OptaJoe, of the eight Premier League games they have played without him this season, they have lost four (three wins and a draw). Their record with him on the field, by contrast, is just three defeats in 19 league fixtures, which have resulted in 12 wins and four draws.

When will Casemiro return from suspension?

The bad news for United is that he still has two matches of his current ban to serve, which will see him miss home games against Brentford (Tuesday 5 April) and Everton (Saturday 8 April). Casemiro will return to action in the Europa League tie against Sevilla (Thursday 13 April) and will be available for the Red Devils’ Premier League trip to Nottingham Forest three days later.

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