By Andy Hyslop
- United monitoring fitness of De Gea, Smalling and Martial
Manchester United return to Premier League action after three successive cup ties with the visit of Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.
In the last week we have seen United progress in the FA Cup and Europa League with convincing victories over Shrewsbury Town and FC Midtjylland.
Tomorrow and Arsenal will be a different story than both those ties, United are struggling with injuries and will need several of their regular first-teamers back if they are to get a result against the North-Londoners.
Manchester United have a good home record against Arsenal in recent seasons, with Arsenal’s last victory in the Premier League at Old Trafford coming courtesy of a 1-0 win in September 2006.
Manchester United are monitoring the fitness of De Gea, Smalling and martial ahead of this game. De Gea has missed the last three games after picking up an injury in the warm-up away to Midtjylland.
While Smalling missed Thursday nights win after picking a knock to his shoulder against Shrewsbury. Martial also missed that game after his hamstring felt tight in the warm-up.
We believe that all three have a good chance of returning against Arsenal on Sunday. While Marcos Rojo may be in contention for start after returning as a substitute against Midtjylland.
As already said we believe that De Gea, Smalling and Martial will return against the Gunners on Sunday. While Van Gaal will probably have no choice but to put Rojo in from the start.
The mistake Van Gaal made away to Arsenal was not play Schneiderlin and we’re he won’t make the same mistake again and partner the Frenchman with Carrick in midfield.
The return of Martial will see him playing through the middle, flanked by Lingard and Memphis, with Mata in behind.
The next few games for Arsenal could make or break their season. Coming into this game on a back of a two-nil defeat to Barcelona at the Emirates.
As well as this game against United, Arsenal face a trip to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham next weekend and the second leg against Barcelona.
A heavy defeat away to Barcelona could have a massive affect on the confidence within the Arsenal squad.
Arsenal also have to overcome Hull City in an FA Cup fifth round replay as they look to win the trophy for a third consecutive time.
If Leicester City win their game against Norwich City on Saturday afternoon, Arsenal will come into this game five points off the top of the Premier League.