Manchester United vs Arsenal: Team news and build-up

Manchester United vs Arsenal: Team news and build-up
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Manchester United
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Luckily, some of the aforementioned 13 are expected to return this afternoon - although it remains to be seen as to whether they're 100% fit or not. First-choice goalkeeper David de Gea (knee), defender Chris Smalling (shoulder) and talented forward Anthony Martial (hamstring) for instance, were sidelined with respective injuries but were spotted arriving at United's hotel yesterday, which suggests they're in the matchday squad for this fixture.

Times have changed since then though, and today's hosts have struggled to keep first-team players fit in recent months - it's definitely starting to take its toll. United have a whopping 13 injuries to contend with, meaning that van Gaal has been virtually forced to look towards fringe/reserve/youth players as a means to compete with opposition recently. 

Rooney celebrates his winner alongside his teammates at the Emirates | Photo: Getty
Rooney celebrates his winner alongside his teammates at the Emirates | Photo: Getty

That victory was a 2-1 away win in the 2014/15 campaign, courtesy of goals from fullback Kieran Gibbs (own goal) and a counter-attack clinically finished by none other than.. captain Wayne Rooney.

Despite holding bragging rights in terms of impressive victories - both home and away - in recent years, Manchester United have only won ONE of their last four meetings with Arsenal in all competitions.

Leicester lead the way on 56 points, buoyed by a late victory against Norwich yesterday. Tottenham and Arsenal are joint second with 51 points (Spurs ahead on goal difference) - meaning this game is even more important for the Gunners, they need to avoid slipping up and close the gap once more on the Foxes back to just two points. Manchester City, who play Liverpool in the Capital One Cup final later on, are in 4th with 47 points. Slaven Bilic's Hammers' side (43) and Manchester United (41) are the other two sides in the top six currently.

In terms of importance regarding this fixture, Louis van Gaal's men can leapfrog West Ham into 5th place provided they take all three points against their visitors today - Arséne Wenger will be eagerly awaiting a positive response to his side's frustrating 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Barcelona from Tuesday evening.

There were wins for Stoke, West Ham, West Bromwich Albion as well as last-gasp winners for both Leicester City and Chelsea - whilst Watford were held to a goalless draw against Eddie Howe's Bournemouth at Vicarage Road.

There were six games being played yesterday in England's top flight, and another two today. Mauricio Pochettino's high-flying Tottenham side host Swansea City in the day's other League fixture - with the same kick-off time as this spectacle.

Kick-off is scheduled for a 2.05PM start, so make sure you stay tuned for all of the pre-match build-up beforehand!

Hello everyone! My name is Mosope Ominiyi, and I'll be taking you through this afternoon's action in the Premier League - as Manchester United host title challengers Arsenal in what promises to be an intriguing watch from Old Trafford.