Man Utd make Bruno Fernandes fitness decision for Crystal Palace clash

  • Fernandes missing out on Man Utd matchday squad for Monday's trip to Crystal Palace
  • Club captain's absence is the latest fitness blow for ravaged Red Devils squad
  • Mason Mount starts in midfield with Jonny Evans fit to play in defence
Fernandes won't feature in Monday night's clash with Palace
Fernandes won't feature in Monday night's clash with Palace / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Bruno Fernandes will not feature in Manchester United's Premier League trip to Crystal Palace on Monday night due to injury.

United's club captain was described as a doubt for the game by manager Erik ten Hag last week due to a wrist problem, having recently played on with strapping protecting the affected area.

The Portugal international has only missed one league fixture all season - that coming in the goalless draw away at Liverpool in December due to suspension - but United will have to make do without their top scorer and assister in the division in 2023/24 so far.

Somewhat incredibly, it is the first club match Fernandes has missed due to injury in his senior career.

Fernandes is far from the only United player ruled out of action on Monday due to injury. Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof, Lisandro Martinez, Willy Kambwala, Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia's absences leave the defence in ruins, while there were also fears over Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay's fitness in the build-up.

Neither Rashford nor McTominay made the squad, though Jonny Evans was passed fit enough to partner Casemiro in defence. Christian Eriksen plays alongside Kobbie Mainoo in the centre of the park, while Mason Mount will act as Fernandes' replacement in the number 10 role.

There are few experienced players on the bench. Reserve goalkeepers Altay Bayindir and Tom Heaton, Sofyan Amrabat and Amad Diallo are the most recognisable names, with youngsters Ethan Wheatley, Habeeb Ogunneye, Harry Amass, Louis Jackson and Toby Collyer hoping to do more than merely make up the numbers.

Ten Hag will hope his side can put their mass list of injuries to one side in Monday evening's encounter with Palace. A victory would take United back above Newcastle and Chelsea into sixth, just three points behind fifth-placed Tottenham.

However, they have been plagued by a lack of ruthlessness and shambolic defending in recent weeks, drawing three of their last four league games.