Arsenal vs Man Utd: Team news | Diallo debut | Expected line-ups | Predicted score
Following a shocking 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Utd mid-week, Man Utd will be looking to bounce back as quickly as possible, and the perfect opportunity presents itself today as they face Arsenal, kick off 17:30.
The game will be played at the Emirates Stadium which should encourage Utd as they are currently sitting on a run of 17 away wins in the Premier League this season. In fact, one more away win would result in the club setting an all-time record, an even bigger motivation for Utd to come away from London victorious.
Jesse Lingard’s loan deal finalised:
The biggest team news of the week for Utd comes as the club finalises a deal with West Ham to loan out Jesse Lingard for the remainder of the season. Lingard has already began training with West Ham, however, he will not be making an appearance in the fixture against Liverpool on Sunday or in the FA Cup 5th Round tie against his parent club on the 9th February.
Lingard will be looking to get more first-team action with West Ham, as well as hoping to get back on the radar of England manager Gareth Southgate ahead of the European Championship finals in the summer. Utd manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjear has said, “I want him to go there, enjoy himself, show how good a player he is and come back as a United player through and through.”
Amad Diallo’s debut:
In other news, speaking to MUTV yesterday, Solskjear announced that Amad Diallo is set to make his debut for Utd in the Under-23s game against Liverpool today. Ole said, “He’s been training really well and settling in. He’s ready to get some game-time and match exposure. I’ll be looking forward to seeing him.” If the Ivorian right-winger impresses, it will hopefully not be too long until he makes his debut within the first team squad.
Injury updates ahead of today’s game:
In relation to potential injuries within the squad, Eric Bailly missed the last fixture due to a knock in training and Anthony Martial was seen to have had an awkward fall, landing on his shoulder at the start of the game mid-week. Nevertheless, Solskjaer reassured fans in an interview with MUTV saying, “They’re okay. They should both be travelling down [to face Arsenal].”
Therefore, it looks like Solskjaer will have the whole squad to choose from once again, stating, “The boys are all fit, [and] raring to go.”
Arsenal Team News
Arsenal are in the opposite position to Man Utd with a few of their players currently facing injury concerns.
In a press-conference on Thursday, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta gave updates on his squad. It looks like the Man Utd game may be too soon for both Dani Cellebos and Pablo Mari to return. “I think Dani Cellabos will be training with the squad in the next few days, Pablo Mari probably as well” remarked Arteta on Thursday.
When talking about Emile Smith Rowe and Thomas Partey, Arteta said, “They had some discomforts 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.”
Arsenal have recently been joined by Martin Odegaard on a loan deal from Real Madrid. When asked on Thursday whether the loanee will make his debut against Utd, Arteta responded, “It’s a little bit early to decide. Let’s see how he goes in training and we will see, don’t worry.” If Odegaard was to make the squad, there is no doubt he would be likely to create some problems for Man Utd.
In his press-conference on Friday, Solskjaer acknowledged the talents of his fellow Norwegian, “Of course, Martin is a very talented young player and we know from the national team that he can cause any team problems. I just hope he’s not finding his form on Saturday.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is set to miss the game today and the Gabon international will be a huge miss for Arsenal.
Expected Man Utd XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba, Cavani.
With Lindelof having been rested in Wednesday’s game against Sheff Utd, it looks like he will be first choice to re-partner with Harry Maguire in the centre of defence. Even though Alex Telles bagged himself another assist mid-week, it looks likely that Luke Shaw will re-instate his position as Utd’s left wing-back. In an interview with MUTV, Shaw commented on the upcoming game,
“It’s a massive game and you know, look, we go and win this game tomorrow, I think we can completely forget about what happened at home against Sheffield and focus on what’s to come.”
Both Fred and Scott McTominay were rested mid-week and it looks very likely that they will be reunited against Arsenal in the centre of midfield. Nevertheless, in his current form, Paul Pogba is likely to retain his place within the starting line-up, this time moving into a right-wing position. This would shift Marcus Rashford onto the left-wing, whilst Bruno Fernandes remains in his centre-attacking midfield position.
Edinson Cavani may also replace Anthony Martial as Utd’s centre-forward after Martial came under scrutiny mid-week with a disappointing performance against Sheff Utd. Cavani is likely to have the edge, offering Utd more movement in and around the box, as well as having a high work-rate, helping his teammates in midfield and defence to win back the ball.
Expected Arsenal XI: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Tierney, Xhaka, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe, Lacazatte.
Kieran Tierney is expected to be passed fit to start at left-back after missing the last two games with a muscle injury. If Partey and Smith Rowe are both fit then Arsenal should only need to make one change from the side that beat Southampton.
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