Casemiro in danger of devastating third Man Utd ban after Saints red

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Manchester United have a dilemma when it comes to picking Casemiro against Real Betis on Thursday night. The Red Devils lead 4-1 from the first leg after a straightforward victory last week. However, with their midfield general one booking away from a third ban of the campaign, it’s possible he’ll be given the night off.

United saw Casemiro receive a straight red card against Southampton on Sunday, with the midfielder dismissed following a crunching tackle on Carlos Alcaraz.

That means they’re set to be without the former Real Madrid star for the next four domestic matches.

Casemiro will be missing when United lock horns with Fulham in the FA Cup, while he’s also sent to be absent for games against Newcastle, Brentford and Everton.

The 31-year-old, who has flourished ever since his summer arrival, is now serving a second ban so far this season.

His first came back in January, with the midfielder ruled out of matches against Arsenal and Leeds (home and away) as a result.

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And ahead of Thursday’s clash with Real Betis, the five-time Champions League winner is in danger of a European suspension as well.

United go into that game in pole position to make the quarter-finals of the Europa League due to their resounding victory last week.

And Casemiro is one booking away from another ban, meaning United may not deem picking the veteran to be worth the risk.

A third suspension for the player this season would be a hammer blow for Ten Hag.

United are already without three senior midfielders right now, too, to make matters even worse.

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Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen are out for the foreseeable future after sustaining injuries against Bournemouth and Reading respectively back in January.

And United also had to tackle Southampton on Sunday without Marcel Sabitzer, who sustained a knock.

Reacting to Casemiro’s red card over the weekend, meanwhile, Ten Hag vented his fury over how the match was officiated by referee Anthony Taylor.

“It is inconsistent, the referees are coming at the start of the season with a policy: we are the Premier League, we want intensity and Casemiro, across European games, over 500, he never had a red card but now, twice,” he said.

“He plays tough but he’s fair. Same as against Crystal Palace, so it’s very debatable.

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“When you freeze it [today’s challenge], it looks bad.

“Everyone who knows something about football knows what is bad, what is fair and Casemiro is a fair player.

“Tough, but fair and it shows over 500 games in big leagues and he was never sent off. He’s disappointed.

“Definitely freeze framing is an issue. If you do it like this you have to be consistent across all games.

“It’s a little bit the same as against Crystal Palace: when you saw the incident you should then have sent off three or four players and not only one if you’re really consistent.”

Casemiro has, though, been told to adjust his game in England by talkSPORT pundit Adebayo Akinfenwa to avoid more bans in the future.

“Of course,” he said. What do you want to do, change the rules and the playing styles just because one player played in another country?

“For me that is such an irrelevant statement [from Ten Hag]. You can argue the Premier League is the best league in the world.

“He’s come into this so therefore it differs. Different officials, different tackles, it’s different.

“The tackles are red card offences… it’s an irrelevant statement.”

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