A huge EPL match-up in Manchester kicks off on Thursday evening. Will United build on their point against Chelsea? Will Arsenal break into the Champions League places?
With Michael Carrick remaining in the dugout, Manchester United get ready to lock horns with old enemies, Arsenal, at Old Trafford in Thursday’s English Premier League (EPL) showdown.
The Red Devils earned a point from their meeting with league leaders Chelsea in their last game, while The Gunners defeated Newcastle United 2-0.
5 EPL points separate the two sides going into this encounter. Manchester United occupy 8th place with 18 points. Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta’s side are in 5th.
Harry Maguire, returns from suspension to face The Gunners. The Manchester United centre-back is sure to slot straight back into the defence, despite his error-strewn performances this season. This would mean Eric Bailly perhaps being dropped unfairly.
Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba, and Raphaël Varane are all absentees for the hosts. The Red Devils are also still waiting to see if Luke Shaw will be fit after picking up a head injury.
Cristiano Ronaldo surely couldn’t understand being benched again for such an important game and could replace Marcus Rashford in the first XI.
Meanwhile, for The Gunners, Bukayo Saka went down with an apparent groin injury in the Newcastle victory. Arteta later confirmed that the 20-year-old – who was sixth in this year’s Kopa Trophy – did feel a muscular twinge.
Saka has not been ruled out of this game yet, but if the 20-year-old doesn’t feature, Gabriel Martinelli should earn a well-deserved start in a forward position.
Long-term victims, Sead Kolašinac, with an ankle injury, and Granit Xhaka, who is still battling back from a knee issue, are Arsenal’s only confirmed absentees.
French striker, Alexandre Lacazette’s run in the first XI came to a halt on Saturday when Martin Ødegaard returned to the starting lineup. It’s hard to imagine the Norwegian losing his spot here.
Our tip for this game is one goal netted in each half, in an entertaining 1-1 draw.