It will be a big game on Sunday afternoon, as Arsenal make the trip to Old Trafford to face off against Manchester United in the Premier League. The Gunners will go into the game at the back of a 2-0 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League, while the Red Devils beat FC Midtjylland 5-1 in the Europa League in their last match. Louis van Gaal would know that his job is on the line and he needs to get his side back to top form, as soon as possible. Also, Arsene Wenger would know that his side will have to win this match in order to remain in the title race and every point will now make a difference at this stage of the competition. It should be a hard fought battle in Manchester, between these two fierce rivals.
At present, the home side have a total of 14 players who are out injured including the likes of David de Gea, Chris Smalling and Anthony Martial, who
could possibly be fit on time to make to the match. Skipper Wayne Rooney has been ruled out for the game, along with Bastian Schweinsteiger, Antonio
Valencia and Ashley Young. Other certain absentees will include Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian and Marouane Fellaini, with Phil Jones, Adnan Januzaj, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Will Keane on the verge of a return soon.
Wenger’s squad still has lesser problems in terms of injuries in comparison to their opponents at the weekend, with just 6 players out at present. The visitors will be without the likes of Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Gabriel Paulista is still not a 100%, but could possibly make it to the squad if he recovers on time.
De Gea; Varela, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Carrick, Schneiderlin, Lingard, Mata, Depay; Martial.
Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Ramsey, Campbell, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud.
3 key players to watch out for:
3. Anthony Martial(Manchester United):
The striker did not feature in the game in mid-week due to an injury that he suffered prior to the start of the match against Midtjylland in the Europa League and will be itching to make an impression in this one. It will however be interesting to see whether Van Gaal risks starting with him or not. Martial has been providing some good positive energy and can add that much needed spark to give his side the win on the night.
2. Mesut Ozil(Arsenal):
Not the best of games against Barcelona for the German international, who will be keen to recover as soon as possible. It has been a superb season for
Ozil so far and he would like to end it on a positive note by winning some titles. If he can guide his side to a win over the Red Devils on the night, it will keep them alive and very much in the title race.
1. Memphis Depay(Manchester United):
The Dutch international really pushed his game to another level in the game against Midtjylland and Wenger would surely know now that he can’t take the winger lightly. Though the Arsenal defence looked really solid against Barca at the Emirates, if Depay can replicate some of the runs that he made on Thursday night, it will surely case the Gunners a bit of worry in the match.
Manchester United 1-2 Arsenal
There is no doubt that it will be a close game as always, with both sides looking for a win. Despite that, with all the problems for United with injuries and their recent form, the visitors might be able to secure a narrow win on the night. It will surely be interesting game, no doubt about that.