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Lisandro Martinez will not play against Barcelona and Man Utd fans are very afraid

Daniel Marland

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| Last updated 

Lisandro Martinez will not play against Barcelona and Man Utd fans are very afraid

Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez will not be available for the first leg of their Europa League knockout play-off clash with Barcelona.

United will face the Blaugrana at the Spotify Camp Nou on February 16, before the return leg at Old Trafford a week later.

The Red Devils will travel to Catalonia knowing they'll be without first-choice central defender Martinez.

Since arriving from Ajax in the summer, Martinez has been manager Erik ten Hag's go-to defender, starting every Premier League game so far.

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The 24-year-old won't be in action against Barca after picking up a yellow card in Thursday's 1-0 win over Real Sociedad.

It was Martinez's third booking of the competition, which results in a one-match ban.

Raphael Varane is currently out with a hamstring issue but is expected to be back fairly soon.

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What it does mean is United will be rocking up with either Victor Lindelof or Harry Maguire at the back to face Robert Lewandowski.

The Poland international swapped Bayern Munich for Barca in the transfer window, settling in immediately.

Lewandowski has scored 18 goals in all competitions, including five in five Champions League appearances.

Lewandowski has been on a roll. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Lewandowski has been on a roll. (Image Credit: Alamy)
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Him facing Lindelof or Maguire in that form would likely be devastating for United's chances of qualification.

Lindelof started Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa alongside Martinez, while club captain Maguire has fallen down the pecking order after suffering a hamstring injury in August.

Fans have reacted to the news and they're already worried about a game that's over three months away.

One person said: "Honestly put Casemiro at the back I can't take the other two."

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A second tweeted: "Lewandowski hat-trick is written in the stars."

Someone put: "Can only hope Varane is fit or the tie will be over after one leg."

While another added: "Get a defender in January PLEASE even if it's just for this game."

One of Harry Maguire or Victor Lindelof will start at the Spotify Camp Nou. (Image Credit: Alamy)
One of Harry Maguire or Victor Lindelof will start at the Spotify Camp Nou. (Image Credit: Alamy)
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Despite United fans being worried, Barcelona manager Xavi isn't too thrilled about drawing them either.

Per The Athletic, he said: "The draw has given us the most difficult rival again, like in the Champions League group stage. Luck was not on our side. Manchester United are a great rival, a historic club — the worst that we could wish for.

They have great individualities, but I’d highlight the group they have. We’ll prepare well, analyze the opponent as we have to.

"It’s not just Cristiano (Ronaldo), we are going to face a team that has grown a lot under Ten Hag and we’ll have to challenge them on the pitch. Big historic club, they will have the same urgency to win as us."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Lisandro Martinez, Barcelona, Robert Lewandowski, Europa League

Daniel Marland
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