Saturday night will see one of the most awaited fixtures of the season come to life, as Manchester United take on Arsenal away at the Emirates. Both sides will be eager for a victory owing to the state at which the Premier League table is poised.
If the Gunners secure the three points, the second place will be back in play, but if United do what they intend to, Manchester City will see their neighbors come to within 5 points before they play their match in hand.
Here’s how the teams might line up for the electric fixture.
The Red Devils have a blaring injury in the form of Nemanja Matic, and although Mourinho has confirmed that the former Chelsea player will, in fact, be traveling to London, it is highly unlikely that the holding midfielder will feature against Arsenal.
As of such, Ander Herrera will be gifted a crucial appearance in the face of Marouane Fellaini’s injury as well.
At the back too, Mourinho will have a bit of a headache, as both Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are ruled out of the fixture, which means the questionable form of Victor Lindelof will have one more chance to redeem. Marcos Rojo might have to play another 90 minutes as well, owing to Matic’s absence of defensive security.
Upfront, Martial and Rashford seem the likely combination to charge with owing to how Arsenal will most likely lineup. In fact, it is Lukaku who might have to make way for Zlatan Ibrahimović owing to the lack of goals in recent games.
However, Mourinho is notorious for sticking with teams that work, and there is a good chance that the Belgian will start.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
Defenders: Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Rojo, Young
Midfielders: Pogba, Herrera
Forwards: Martial, Lukaku, Rashford
The Gunners will be without their record signing Alex Lacazette due to an injury he picked up during their 5-0 riot against Huddersfield, where the striker opened the scoring.
As of such, it is likely that Danny Welbeck will get the start up front, and it is important to remember that the Mancunian talent has been quite lucky and prolific in scoring goals against his former club.
Wenger himself remarked on the state of their attacking options, saying: “Look, we have offensive weapons, you know. We have Welbeck, we have Giroud, we have Wilshere who all came on. They are all offensive players.”
As a result, it will be Sanchez and Ozil who are most likely to link up behind the number 9. Elsewhere, Wenger is apt to use his usual tactics and formations in a bid to stall Mourinho and secure 13 straight home wins in the League.
Defenders: Kolasinac, Monreal, Koscielny, Mustafi, Bellerin
Midfield: Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey
Forwards: Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Welbeck
Written by Naveen Kelvin
A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.