Man United vs Arsenal Team News: Bailly, Pogba, Rojo, Chambers, Xhaka

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Manchester United visits Arsenal Wednesday night in a match-up of two giant clubs that have fallen far from their former glory. United are much closer to getting back there, as at least 1.) they are up to fifth place now in the table and 2.) they have shown that that they can beat the big boys.

However, they also lose to the small sides and those defeats are just inexcusable. The Red Devils are coughing up easy goals and MVP David De Gea is having a down season, at least by his elite goalkeeping standards. This could be a problem against a gunners side that can certainly score.

However, the north London club is also very easy to outscore as defensively they are a mess. Arsenal currently sit closer to the drop zone than they do the UCL qualification slots. An awful season so far means they have New Year’s resolutions aplenty, and now we’ll see how long it takes former captain Mikel Arteta to make them relevant again.

In turning to the team news for this one, United got a major fitness boost in the return of central defender Eric Bailly to first team training. The 25-year-old Ivorian is in line for his first action of the season, having been seriously injured in the preseason versus Tottenham Hotspur.

Paul Pogba missed the portion of training that was open to the media earlier today. It’s possible he took part in the closed session. The Frenchman attended a charity match in his native country yesterday, but did return to Carrington on Monday. Although he suffered a minor setback over the weekend and missed out on the win at Burnley, he is expected to be available again in midweek.

Midfielder Scott McTominay (out approximately 3-4 weeks with knee ligament damage) and defenders Axel Tuanzebe (an unspecified injury has kept him out of the last three matches) and Ashley Young missed the session too. Marcos Rojo could be left out of this one as a potential transfer away from United cold be drawing near. 

To the Arsenal team news now- Calum Chambers went off with a knee injury in the loss to Chelsea after just 20 minutes of action while Hector Bellerin is closing in on a return.

Former captain Granit Xhaka could be rested as transfer rumors swirl about him and his exit could be coming soon.

Meanwhile Gabriel Martinelli, Dani Ceballos, Sokratis Papastathopolous, Kieran Tierney, and Sead Kolasinac are also injury concerns to a varying degree.

United vs Arsenal FYIs

Starting XI Predictions:   United    Arsenal

Kickoff: Wed, Jan 1, 8pm, Emirates Stadium

arsenal-fc-emirates-stadium

Google Result Probability: United win 37%, Arsenal win 37%, Draw 26%

Form guide: United WWLDW  Arsenal LDDLW

Odds via Smart bet: United win 2.75, Arsenal win 2.56, Draw 3.75

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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