Arsenal v Man Utd preview: A massive battle is set for Sunday in London with fourth place on the line as Manchester United goes to the Emirates to take on Arsenal.
Arsenal: The Gunners are coming off a rough 3-1 loss at Rennes in the Europa League in a game when most starters played. That result, being outplayed like they were, doesn’t give them any momentum entering this game. They’ll have to reset and keep in mind just what’s at stake here. There’s revenge, a top-four spot and some much-needed momentum on the line.
Manchester United: While Arsenal doesn’t have momentum, United has enough to supply every team in English soccer. The heart-pounding 3-1 win at PSG on Wednesday saw the Red Devils advance to the Champions League quarterfinals. This game is a continuation of a tough stretch of matches stringing till the end of April and including games against Watford, Wolves, Manchester City and Chelsea. The next month and a half will make or break their season.
Solskjaer was without nearly a whole starting lineup of players for the midweek trip to Paris, but he has been handed a big fitness boost ahead of Sunday’s trip to the English capital.
Martial, who has already scored twice against Arsenal this season, is expected to make his return to action following a month on the sidelines. However, it is unlikely that the French forward will be fit enough to start.
Paul Pogba may be the only one of United’s 10 midweek absentees to return, in fact, as his European ban does not carry over and he is therefore eligible to play on Sunday.
Despite limping off before half time against PSG, Eric Bailly is fit enough to play a part if called upon, while Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic both have an outside chance of making the squad.
Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Matteo Darmian, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and former Arsenal man Alexis Sanchez all remain out of action
In terms of the home side, battling midfielder Lucas Torreira had his three-match suspension for last week’s sending-off at Tottenham upheld, so he will sit this one out.
Danny Welbeck, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin are all out for the rest of the season, meanwhile, but Sokratis Papastathopoulos is available despite being dismissed against Rennes in the Europa League.
Emery has already hinted that he will start Alexandre Lacazette through the middle due to the Frenchman being ruled out of European action through suspension, meaning that Aubameyang is likely to take up a place on the bench for the second league game running.
Lacazette is looking to become only the second Arsenal player to score in six consecutive home Premier League games after Thierry Henry, who did so twice (six in August 2000, seven in October 2004).
Elsewhere, Ainsley Maitland-Niles has spent the last couple of games on the bench after recovering from injury and is in contention to replace Shkodran Mustafi at right-back.
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Koscielny, Kolasinac; Guendouzi, Xhaka; Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Iwobi; Lacazette
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Fred, McTominay, Pogba; Pereira; Lukaku, Rashford
Head To Head
Arsenal have won two of their last three Premier League home games against Man United, losing the other, which is as many as they had managed in their previous eight.
The Red Devils were 3-1 winners the last time the sides faced off at the Emirates Stadium in the league, though, and they are now seeking back-to-back away league victories in this fixture for the first time since the mid-1980s.
Nine of Arsenal’s 13 Premier League victories over United have been in games played on a Sunday.