Following an encouraging mid-week win against Watford, United head to the Emirates for one of the EPL’s biggest grudge matches on Matchday 15Build-up
While the United-Arsenal rivalry has lost some of its essence over the past few seasons, any encounter between the fierce rivals remains a tense affair.
The Red Devils lead the clutch of clubs hoping to catch run-away league leaders City, but face a serious challenge at the Emirates, where the club has not won since 2014. United are four points better off than their hosts, but the difference could be down to a single point should the Red Devils leave London empty handed. The Gunners have a strong home record, having won their last twelve EPL games at the Emirates, so will be confident taking on Jose’s side. Especially on the back of a resounding victory over a Huddersfield side Jose’s men previously lost to. However, Wenger will have to do without Lacazette – who misses out through injury – probably prompting the inclusion of old boy Welbeck, who has certainly proved a thorn in the Red Devils side since leaving the club. United come into the game off the back of an encouraging midweek showing, however that victory came at a cost with the potential loss of Matic likely to rock Jose’s side.
Jones (thigh), Bailly (unspecified) and Carrick (calf) remain sidelined. Fellaini misses out due to a recurrence with his knee problem, while Zlatan and Mikki weren’t spotted with the travelling party. Matic faces a late fitness test, but remains a doubt.
United have available for selection: D.d.Gea, Romero, J.Pereira, Lindelof, Smalling, Rojo, Tuanzebe, Valencia, Shaw, Young, Blind, Darmian, McTominay, Matic, Pogba, Herrera, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial, Rashford, Zlatan and Lukaku.
With United facing another difficult away tie, Jose will likely continue with the same system as the Watford game. There should also be limited changes, enforced on Jose by virtue of injuries. United’s CBs should remain same given the continued absence of Jones and Bailly. Matic has to play even if only half fit – United have a bigger chance of winning this game than the next, so should throw all in. Herrera comes in alongside Matic – though will be odds on to replace the Serbian, should he be deemed unfit to play. Pogba pushes slightly ahead into offensive midfield in place of Lingard, while Young and Valencia should continue impressing as wing-backs. Lukaku continues to lead the line, especially with Zlatan’s participation looking unclear. The Belgian is supported up-top by Martial. The Frenchman could be replaced by Rashford, who knows his way past the Arsenal defense.
Kick off: 5.30pm (UK time) 6.30pm (Nigerian time), Tuesday 28th November 2017
Stadium: Emirates Stadium, London
United need a win to keep pace with City but Arsenal will not rollover at the Emirates. The Red Devils will face a very tough encounter, which makes this result very difficult to call.
Arsenal 2 Manchester United 1 (United goalscorer – Pogba)
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