Mourinho makes seven changes for Arsenal game
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has made seven changes to his side to face Arsenal and gives Diogo Dalot his first Premier League start for the Reds.
The 19-year-old Portuguese defender Dalot came on as a substitute in last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Southampton.
He started a Champions League match in September against Young Boys in Switzerland and the home Carabao Cup game against Derby County but this is his first appearance in the XI for a league fixture.
Back from injury for United to face the Gunners are Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly, who both missed the game at St Mary’s. Matteo Darmian also returns and there is a first senior game of the season for Marcos Rojo, who has only previously appeared as a guest player for the Under-23s this term.
Rojo was an unused sub at Southampton and was also on the bench against Everton in October. The return of the Argentinian, plus those of Smalling, Bailly and Darmian, has eased pre-match concerns over a possible injury crisis.
When asked if he was gambling on his defenders' fitness, Mourinho said in his pre-match interview on BT Sport:
“I don't think I'm gambling. They are confident. I would never play a player if he has too many doubts. They are confident, ready.Rojo has had zero minutes of competitive football this season and I think it is hard to play a game of this dimension but again he's confident, he's mentally ready, he's very happy.
Only David De Gea, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic and Marcus Rashford remain in the XI from the Southampton draw. There are returns for Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard who both came on as subs on the south coast on Saturday.
Explaining his attacking choices, Mourinho said:
“We are going to play with Lingard, Rashford and Martial. We did that already before, against Man City and Young Boys.
”We were not successful in the goals that we wanted to score but we were happy with the situations that we created.
“In that first half against Young Boys, we didn't score but we had big chances and we believe in the combination of these three young, fast and creative players.”
United: De Gea, Dalot, Bailly, Smalling (C), Rojo, Darmian, Herrera, Matic, Lingard, Martial, Rashford.
Subs: Romero, Valencia, Fellaini, Mata, McTominay, Pogba, Lukaku.
Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Sokratis, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Guendouzi, Torreira, Ramsey, Iwobi, Aubameyang.
Subs: Cech, Efneny, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette, Lichsteiner, Maitland-Niles, Nketiah.