MANCHESTER, Sporting Alert – Manchester United will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Saturday’s English Premier League clash with Arsenal at Old Trafford.
Watch Out For Rashford
Ibrahimovic will miss the game to serve a one-match ban so manager Jose Mourinho could hand Marcus Rashford a starting place through the middle, rather than playing him out wide.
“Certainly they would prefer to have him (Ibrahimovic),” Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said.
“But let’s not forget, last year the guy who killed us was Rashford. So let’s not speculate on any weakness of Man United.”
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, is back in contention after a minor knee injury and Mourinho says he’s available to play against the Gunners.
Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera is also available after a serving a one-match ban at Swansea City before the international break and could return to the starting team.
In other team news, defender Luke Shaw has recovered from a leg injury and is fully fit to return at left back, while midfielder Marouane Fellaini is doubtful for the game with a calf problem.
“Luke Shaw is ready to play,” Mourinho said. “I don’t have any problem with him, I am not saying he plays or he doesn’t play tomorrow.”
Sanchez To Get Fitness Test
Wenger, meanwhile, revealed that Alexis Sanchez contacted him via text during the international break to let the Frenchman know that he was fit for this weekend, but the Chile forward still faces a fitness test before kick-off time.
Sanchez was being bothered by a hamstring injury but played over 80-minutes for his country in a FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier win.
“He texted us to tell us he’s in good shape after the game,” Wenger said about Sanchez.
“He came off after 84 minutes and now we have to wait. I see him tomorrow morning and then I will see if he can be involved in the squad or not.”
Arsenal are still without defender Hector Bellerin (ankle), midfielder Santi Cazorla (Achilles) and striker Lucas Perez (ankle).
Centre-back Per Mertesacker and forward Danny Welbeck (both knee) are also out.
Manchester United injury list also includes defenders Eric Bailly (knee) and Chris Smalling (foot), as well as converted right-back Antonio Valencia (arm).
Arsenal are fourth in the English Premier League standings but will go top with a win at Old Trafford.
In the meantime, a win for the Red Devils would see Mourinho’s side joining Tottenham in fifth.
Manchester United (squad): De Gea, Romero, Blind, Jones, Darmian, Fosu-Mensah, Rojo, Shaw, Carrick, Fellaini, Herrera, Mkhitaryan, Lingard, Mata, Pogba, Schneiderlin, Young, Depay, Martial, Rashford, Rooney.
Arsenal (squad): Cech, Ospina, Debuchy, Jenkinson, Holding, Gabriel, Koscielny, Mustafi, Gibbs, Monreal, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Coquelin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Walcott, Reine-Adelaide, Iwobi, Sanchez, Akpom, Giroud.