Kyle Walker pinpoints Man Utd threat despite poor recent form

  • Marcus Rashford has scored just once for United so far this season
  • The 25-year-old scored career-high 30 goals in all competitions during 2022/23
  • Walker insists England teammate must not be underestimated in Manchester derby
Kyle Walker sticks close to Marcus Rashford in the FA Cup final
Kyle Walker sticks close to Marcus Rashford in the FA Cup final / Robin Jones/GettyImages

Kyle Walker has warned against underestimating Marcus Rashford in the Manchester derby on Sunday despite his poor recent form.

25-year-old Rashford has scored just once in 12 games for Manchester United this season, with his performance levels significantly lower than what was on offer during Erik ten Hag's first year in the Old Trafford dugout.

The Dutchman got the very best out of Rashford after a disappointing 2021/22 campaign yielded just five goals, with the Englishman scoring six times that amount in all competitions. Rashford's 30-goal haul included 17 strikes in the Premier League - matching his best ever return in England's top-flight - but he, and United, have been well below-par this time around.

His struggles have coincided with disappointing results for United. They have already been beaten four times in the Premier League, sitting eighth in the table with a negative goal difference, and have also been on the wrong end of defeats to Bayern Munich and Galatasaray in the Champions League.

Tuesday's 1-0 win over Kobenhavn was also hard work - United were bailed out of trouble in stoppage-time when Andre Onana saved Jordan Larsson's penalty after Scott McTominay was harshly penalised for a high boot.

United have a chance to get things back on track against neighbourhood rivals City on Sunday, welcoming the Premier League champions to Old Trafford for a game they won last season. Rashford was on the scoresheet in a controversial 2-1 win, and Walker, who has recently signed a new contract at the Etihad Stadium and looks to be back to his best, says his quality must not be overlooked despite his dip in form.

"I think Marcus has shown over the years that he's the sort of player who can create problems for any side if they don't match him," Walker told reporters. "He's been important for both United and England since he was a teenager because of the threat he offers to any team he's in.

Marcus Rashford
Things are not going Marcus Rashford's way at present / Jan Kruger/GettyImages

"He's got a lot of different qualities, and we know he can be dangerous at the weekend."

Walker refused to dwell on last season's defeat to United, and instead pointed to the club's eventual treble win as a measure of what's really important.

"Last season is done, we lost at Old Trafford and went on to win the treble. Ultimately that's what matters," he remarked. "We want to win the game because of what it means and because, ultimately, it will help us in trying to win the Premier League again. We don't need to think beyond that.

"We've had some great games against them in recent years and our focus is on giving the fans something to enjoy again on Sunday."

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