Manchester United Suffer Blow as ‘Unbelievable’ Defender Ruled Out for Barcelona Clash

Lisandro Martinez

Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez will not be available to play in the first leg of their Europa League playoff clash against Barcelona in February. This is due to him being suspended for the game after picking up a booking in his side’s final group stage game, the 1-0 win over Real Sociedad.

Manchester United Suffer Lisandro Martinez Set-Back Before Barcelona Game

Martinez Suspended for Barcelona Clash Due to Yellow Card Rule

The 24-year-old has been one of United’s best performers since arriving from Ajax in the summer. He produced Man of the Match-worthy performances in the wins over Liverpool and Chelsea this season and has maintained a very high consistency level in keeping a decent defensive structure for his side.

But Martinez will not be able to play at the Camp Nou on February 16, when the Red Devils travel to face Barcelona in the first leg of their Europa League knockout clash. He picked up three yellow cards in the group stages which results in an automatic one-game suspension, as per UEFA rules.

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This will be a major blow for Erik ten Hag’s side, as they’ll have to deal with the dangerous Robert Lewandowski. This could force Ten Hag to play either Harry Maguire or Victor Lindelof in the game, probably alongside Raphael Varane – as long as the Frenchman can remain injury-free.

Martinez’s Dream Start to United Career

Martinez has been one of the Red Devils’ best players so far this season, winning their Player of the Month award in September as well. After having a difficult first two games in the Premier League, the Argentine has solidified himself among the fiercest centre-backs in the league.

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He’s helped United keep nine clean sheets across all competitions and featured in every single game so far, with teammates like Luke Shaw hailing him as “unbelievable”. That includes guiding United to keep four clean sheets and concede just three goals in the six Europa League games so far. But after the booking against Real Sociedad, Martinez will have to watch the game at Camp Nou from the stands and hope his side can cope without him.