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Martinez to return as Man Utd push for European spot against Newcastle

MANCHESTER, England : Lisandro Martinez will likely play his first game for Manchester United since March on Wednesday while Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Willy Kambwala will be assessed to determine if they are fit to return from injury, manager Erik ten Hag said.

Raphael Varane, who announced his close-season departure earlier on Tuesday, will not be fit for the midweek Premier League game against Newcastle United but may return on Sunday, the manager added.

Ten Hag then hopes to have the French defender match-ready for the FA Cup final against Manchester City on May 25.

"I think he will return," Ten Hag told reporters about Martinez, who has played only 11 matches this season due to multiple injuries. "He had some sessions and if everything is okay in training he will be involved.

"We are planning (for Varane to play), definitely, for the last games. Not tomorrow but we hope for Sunday and then, of course, for the last game (FA Cup final)," he added.

Manchester United, eighth in the standings with 54 points, trail sixth-placed Newcastle United by three points with two matches left and need to close that gap to qualify for the Europa Conference League.

"It's a very important game," the Dutchman said. "You get the ranking, so it's very important to get the win."

Newcastle have won their last three matches against Manchester United, scoring six goals and conceding none.

"We have to do everything in it to get the win and we have to fight hard for it," Ten Hag said.

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