Key Man Utd duo not spotted in training ahead of Aston Villa clash as young defender called up

Manchester United play Aston Villa for the second time in just five days when they met on Thursday.

Jadon Sancho and Antony weren’t spotted in Manchester United’s latest training video, ahead of Thursday’s EFL Cup clash with Aston Villa.

Neither were involved in the Red Devils’ last outing - a 3-1 loss against Villa on Sunday in the Premier League. Sancho was absent due to illness and Antony play didn’t feature through injury. The latter was included in Brazil’s World Cup squad this week, with national team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar explaining the former Ajax’s man injury.

“Antony had a small problem in the flexor muscles of the right hip, he is in the recovery process,” Lasmar said. “We’re in contact with the player, with the medical department.

“He’s in a recovery phase. We have time for him to recover in time to be with us. This week is important, we are talking day by day. This final phase is important.” Therefore, it wasn’t a surprise that Antony wasn’t involved in training at Carrington on Tuesday, and he remains a major doubt for Thursday’s encounter.

But one player who was seen in the club’s latest video, which was published on United’s website, was Antony Martial. The forward returned to the team on Sunday following a back injury which kept him out for four weeks, and Martial was introduced as a second-half substitute at Villa Park. He could be handed a first start in over a month when Unai Emery’s men make the journey to Manchester.

Elsewhere, youngsters Facundo Pellistri and Shola Shoretire were spotted in the latest video, as was Di’Shon Bernard. The 22-year-old, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Championship side Hull City, hasn’t played at all this campaign due to injury.

Bernard’s return to training comes amid a spate of injuries at centre-back for United. Raphael Varane is out until after the World Cup, while Axel Tuanzebe hasn’t featured at all in 2022/23. It leaves the Red Devils with just Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof to choose from at the heart of defence.