Arsenal FC vs Manchester United: Full Injury and Fitness Report for Both Sides

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luke shaw

Manchester United’s Sunday fixture at Arsenal is an intriguing one given all the contrasting storylines. Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho gave his weekly preview press conference (video here), and in it he indicated that would be resting players in this match as he and his club prioritizes winning the Europa League competition.

That will be the primary route back into the Champions League for fifth place United while sixth place Arsenal are making their last stand towards reaching the top four.

Either the Gunners will be finished off this weekend, or this could vault them to an ultimate finish ahead of Manchester City or Liverpool in that final top four slot. Here is a link to the latest top four odds for all of the remaining contenders.

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There was also a lot of talk these past couple days about the personal rivalry between Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, with the Gunners boss saying that he is open to peace with his arch-nemesis. Mourinho responded by saying that there is already detente between the two men.

Not sure we actually believe that, but hey that’s what he said!

Let’s look at who’s unavailable for this one.

Marouane Fellaini is serving the second game of his three match suspension, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Tim Fosu-Mensah (more on that here) and now even Ashley Young (more on that here) are all out for the season.

However, this could be the match that sees Juan Mata, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, three long term absentees now fit, back in the starting XI. (Go here for our MUFC starting XI prediction)

On the other side Granit Xhaka (a knock) is out, while Shkodran Mustafi returned to training this week. Goalkeeper David Ospina is also now back to full fitness.

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“The only advantage we can give is to focus on ourselves, not a weaker Manchester United,” Arsene Wenger told his news conference on Thursday.

“We know anyway they have a massive squad with quality players and only a top performance will get us the win we want. Now even winning our games does not guarantee us to be in the Champions League, that is what we have to achieve.”

Match Odds:

United- 11/4        Draw- 5/2       Arsenal- evens

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Prediction: Manchester United 0, Arsenal 0

While United will sit their stars, and be without numerous injured players, I still think will do enough to grind out a point at the Emirates. Fifth place United do not need to find a way to get all three points from this fixture in order to stay in the top four race, given what Mourinho just said about the Swansea City result being their last opportunity to realize that cause.

The sixth place Gunners need it more, but I have a feeling we’ll see a hyper-pragmatic, perhaps even ugly approach to this one (a la the Manchester derby) and an aesthetically displeasing final result.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times and NBC Chicago.com, contributes to Chicago Tribune.comBoldWGN CLTV and KOZN

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  1. Oluwaseun says:

    All we need in this match is winning.The three point is so important to us 2 qualify 4 d top four………UP MAN UNITED

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