Early team news for Arsenal v United
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will assess his options at centre-back ahead of our Premier League game with Arsenal on Saturday.
“Eric was down to play this game but he got a bang yesterday and is sore and bruised. It’s unfortunate for him,”the boss told club media, shortly before our Blades encounter.
90 in 20: United 1 Sheff Utd 2Video
It meant that Ole started with a centre-back partnership of Harry Maguire and Axel Tuanzebe against the Blades, something he may opt to do again at the Emirates Stadium, depending on the fitness of Victor and Eric.
Luke Shaw was also rested from the starting line-up on Wednesday, with Alex Telles playing at left-back instead. Our no.23 came on for the Brazilian as a substitute late in the game, and Ole may decide to reinstate him for kick-off against the Gunners.
Fred hasn’t started either of our last two matches and might return to face Arsenal, as could Scott McTominay, who was an unused substitute against Sheffield United, with Ole starting Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba in the centre of the park.
The latter has been selected from the off in each of our last six league games and with so many fixtures on the horizon, the Frenchman may be in for a rest soon.
In the attacking areas, Ole has managed Edinson Cavani well over the hectic winter period and, after starting on the bench against Sheffield United, the Uruguayan could be in line for a recall in the capital.
Long-term absentee Phil Jones is still unavailable, but Brandon Williams is an option in defence again after a recent knock. Ivorian winger Amad Diallo has been pictured training with the first team since his arrival a fortnight ago and could be called upon if Ole feels he is ready.
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The Gunners could be without several key players, as Dani Ceballos, Emile Smith Rowe, Kieran Tierney, Pablo Mari and Thomas Partey are all doubts through injury.
“I think Dani Ceballos will be training with the squad in the next few days, Pablo Mari probably as well,”said Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, during his pre-match press conference.
As for Partey and Smith Rowe, Arteta added:
“I don’t know, let’s see how they come on today. They had some discomfort in different parts, Thomas and Emile, and we will have to see how they evolve. We still have some days until the game, but not long, so let’s see how they recover.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could also miss the clash due to personal reasons, with Arteta stating he is unsure whether the striker will be available for the match at the Emirates.
The Gunners may hand a debut to winger Martin Odegaard, who joined on loan this week from Real Madrid. The tricky Norwegian mainly operates from the right wing and looks to cut inside onto his stronger left foot wherever possible.