Man Utd predicted XI vs Arsenal as Mourinho prioritises Europa League

Manchester United travel to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal in a crucial encounter in the race for the Premier League top four.

Draws against Manchester City and Swansea have left José Mourinho's men in pursuit of the top four, while Arsenal sit nine points off the Champions League places.

United's Europa League commitments will see the Reds prioritise that competition, with the second leg of the semi-final against Celta Vigo coming up on Thursday.

The defence

David de Gea: The Spaniard has sat out the majority of the Europa League campaign, with stand-in Sergio Romero starting 10 of the 13 games in the competition. Thus, it'd make sense that De Gea starts at the Emirates with Romero likely to feature at Old Trafford in midweek.

Antonio Valencia: A genuine contender for United player of the year, Valencia has featured heavily throughout the season. While Mourinho would like to rest one of his most trusted players for the European semi-final, injuries to full-backs Ashley Young and Luke Shaw limits his options significantly.

Chris Smalling: Returning from injury from the bench in Spain, Smalling is likely to start for the Red Devils. Ivorian Eric Bailly has played numerous games in succession, and resting him will surely be high on the priority list, so third-captain Smalling looks nailed on to return.

Daley Blind: The Dutchman's workload has been less intensive than Bailly's, so should be in good shape to start at the Emirates. Phil Jones' return to fitness will aid Mourinho's worries, but the Englishman didn't make the bench on Thursday, so is presumably just short of fitness.

Matteo Darmian: Similarly to Valencia, other injuries in the squad means Darmian's name puts itself on the team sheet. With Shaw out for the season, and Young's muscle injury bad enough to force him off just minutes after coming on in Vigo, the improving Italian looks set to start.

The midfield

Ander Herrera: The Spaniard's performances in big games this year will likely see Mourinho opt against resting him. The man-marking masterclass Herrera displayed against Chelsea's Eden Hazard could be a tactic employed on one of Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez to deaden the threat of the Arsenal attack.

Paul Pogba: The Frenchman's recent return from injury means his workload hasn't been too strenuous, although he's played a lot of games this season. The man of the match display he put in upon his return to the side in Vigo displayed his importance to the side in big games.

Wayne Rooney: United's skipper has a fantastic record of scoring against the Gunners down the years. The suspension of Marouane Fellaini means veteran vice-captain Michael Carrick could be rested to feature against Celta, so Rooney should get the nod at the Emirates.

The attack

Juan Mata: The Spaniard's early return from injury is sure to bolster the options available to Mourinho. Mata has been in the squad for the last two games without featuring off the bench, so should enter the field at the Emirates in some capacity.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan: The Armenian was withdrawn against the Spaniards, so should be fresh enough to start at the Emirates. The creativity he provides will be pivotal if the Red Devils are to break down a rather shaky Arsenal defence.

Anthony Martial: With Zlatan Ibrahimovic out for the season and Marcus Rashford doubtful with an injury, Martial looks likely to start up front in North London. Rashford's late knock in Spain, as well as his undeniable importance to the team in the Europa League means he is unlikely to feature from the start.

VAVEL Logo