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Marcus Rashford: Stats suggest Manchester United can cope in his absence

The news that Manchester United could be without Marcus Rashford for their trip to Bournemouth on Saturday has been widely reported as being a ‘big blow’ for the club.

Manager Erik ten Hag has confirmed Rashford is doubtful due to illness after missing United’s victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend due to a leg injury.

Rashford has been a standout performer for the Red Devils this season, netting 29 goals across all competitions to top the club’s scoring charts.

However, while most people will want Rashford to feature in the starting XI tomorrow, recent statistics suggest they can cope in his absence.

United can adapt if Rashford is ruled out

The England international has been a talisman for United this season, providing them with a cutting edge on the left flank and when he has played centrally.

Rashford has featured in 53 of the 58 games United have played this season – they have won 36, drawn seven and lost ten with him in the team.

Their win percentage with Rashford in the starting XI is almost 68 percent – a healthy return given the team is not quite at the level Ten Hag wants it to be.

By contrast, United have won three, drawn one and lost one of the five games Rashford has missed – a 60% winning return.

The minimal disparity between those two figures suggests United can adapt when Rashford is ruled out, although the sample size is relatively small.

It is worth noting that the two Premier League games he has missed – Nottingham Forest and Wolves – are both matches United would expect to win with or without Rashford.

The 25-year-old also missed three games in the Europa League, and it is in this competition that his absence was felt the most.

United created a ton of chances in their opening group game at home to Real Sociedad but were unable to find a way past their stubborn defence.

They coped well enough without Rashford in a 2-0 victory at FC Sheriff but were left to rue him sustaining an injury when the quarter-finals were staged.

United drew 2-2 in the home leg against Sevilla – a game they may have won comfortably had Rashford been in the line-up.

He featured off the bench in the reverse fixture but was short of match fitness as the Red Devils slumped to a dismal 3-0 defeat.

What we have seen this season suggests United should manage without Rashford given where Bournemouth are in the league.

However, they will be desperate to have him back for the final two games against Chelsea and Fulham, the two home games they must win to ensure Champions League football next season.

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