United at Arsenal Injury Report: Bailly, Martial, Sanchez, Matic, Herrera, Lingard

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An absolutely crunch clash for the top four commences Sunday evening when Manchester United visits Arsenal for a Premier League fixture. United currently sit fourth, just one point ahead of fifth place Arsenal, with nine games left to play. Each side enters this match off the heels of a very fateful European result, albeit from opposite ends of the spectrum.

United won at Paris Saint-Germain Wednesday night to become the first team in UEFA Champions League history to advance after being down 2-0 at home. Meanwhile Arsenal made history as well, but not the good kind.

In falling 3-1 at Rennes Thursday night in Europa League round of 16 competition, it marked Arsenal’s first loss ever at a French side in any competition, and the Gunners’ first defeat to a French club, home or away, in Euro competition.

They’ll look to bounce back without the services of midfielder Lucas Torreira, who is suspended after getting sent off in last weekend’s North London derby. The Gunners will also still be without their trio of long term injury absentees: Hector Bellerin, Danny Welbeck and Rob Holding.

Turning to United, the injury crisis is easing up. Central defender Eric Bailly is fit, despite going off injured in Paris, while midfielders Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera have both recovered from the injuries that they suffered on the weekend of the goalless draw with Liverpool.

They might be able to feature in this one. Forward Anthony Martial has made a full recovery from the groin injury that has kept him out of action for almost a month.

“Anthony will be available,” Solskjaer, at his prematch news conference on Friday. “Eric [Bailly is fine]. Hopefully Nemanja and or Ander will be available.

“They just need to have another couple of days training with the team. They’ve done well in their recovery work.”

Long term injury absentees Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Matteo Darmian and Antonio Valencia remain out while Phil Jones could be in line for a return. Finally, Alexis Sanchez will not get to face his former team, as he’s been ruled out for at least a couple months with knee ligament damage.

His long term future at the club is certainly in doubt.

Manchester United at Arsenal FC FYIs

Kickoff: Sunday, March 10, 5:30pm local, Emirates Stadium

Starting XI Predictions: Arsenal  Manchester United

Google Result Probability: Arsenal win 40%, Draw 27%, Manchester United win 33%

Odds via Odds Checker: Arsenal win 16/11, Draw 13/5, Manchester United win 21/10

Prediction: Manchester United 3, Arsenal 2

We believe Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will get it done here, just like we believe he should get the managerial job beyond this season. We doubted him before the PSG match, and don’t want to make the same mistake again. Solskjaer, Victor Lindelof, and company believed they could make UCL history and pull off the upset in Paris, and they did.

The Norwegian really has something special going on with this team.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

He also contributes sociopolitical essays to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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