TEAM NEWS

Granit Xhaka suffered a kick to the calf last weekend and has only a “little chance” of playing, according to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Shkodran Mustafi and David Ospina are back in training after respective thigh and back problems.

Manchester United are without Ashley Young, who was forced off with a muscle injury against Celta Vigo.

Marouane Fellaini is banned and Luke Shaw, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are all injured.

United may rest key players like Marcus Rashford, who began Thursday’s game in Spain despite carrying an injury and appeared to be in pain when he was substituted.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Jonathan Pearce: “So much will depend on what sort of team injury-ravaged United can field, especially with the Europa League semi-final second leg against Celta Vigo in mind.

“Ten of Jose Mourinho’s squad will have missed a month of the campaign before its end. I can’t think of another manager who could have rotated as well while keeping the club competitive for so long on four fronts.

“But this could be too tough a task. Arsenal simply have to win to keep alive Champions League hopes. Arsene Wenger surely has to get a first ever league win against Mourinho.

“Alexis Sanchez must improve on his record of just one goal in nine league games against the fives sides currently above Arsenal. But will United thwart them again?”

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “The problem before [the north London derby] was that the clarity was if we won all our games, we had a good chance of being in the top four. Now, even winning the games doesn’t guarantee us that. It’s not in our hands. That’s all we have to achieve.

“More than focusing on the fact it is Manchester United, a big club and a big rivalry over the years, what is important is to have the chance to achieve our target. We have no choice, we have to beat them.”

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho on which players he will rest against Arsenal: “The players that are in accumulation, the players that are with lots of minutes because we played nine matches in April and this one, so 10 matches in four-and-a-half weeks.

“The players that are in accumulation, they are not going to play at the weekend.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

I thought Arsenal had a bit of momentum until last weekend’s north London derby, when defeat showed their problems have not really gone away.

Arsenal will be up for this game, but it will not be easy because Manchester United’s injury list looks shorter right now. I don’t think there will be much in it.

Prediction: 1-1

Lawro’s full predictions v indie rock band Kasabian

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game
Wayne Rooney

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Manchester United lost this fixture 3-0 last season but that is their only defeat in the last 11 league meetings (W6, D4).
  • This will be the 50th Premier League match between these clubs. Arsenal have won 12 and United 22, with 15 draws.

Arsenal

  • Arsenal have already lost six league games in 2017, as many defeats as they suffered in the whole of 2016.
  • The Gunners have only lost one of their last 15 Premier League home games (W11, D3), with that defeat coming against Watford on 31 January.
  • The last season in which both Arsenal and Manchester United finished outside the top four was in 1978-79, when they ended seventh and ninth respectively.
  • Arsene Wenger’s only win in 16 previous encounters as a manager against Jose Mourinho came in the 2015 Community Shield (D7, L8).
  • This will be Wenger’s 58th match against Manchester United as Arsenal boss. They are the opponents he has faced most often in his managerial career.
  • Alexis Sanchez is two shy of 50 Premier League goals for Arsenal.

Manchester United

  • The Red Devils are unbeaten in 25 top-flight games – a club record within a single season – but have drawn 12 of those matches.
  • They are one of three clubs to have claimed more Premier League points on their travels than at home this season, along with Manchester City and Crystal Palace (prior to the latest round of fixtures).
  • United have drawn a league-high 14 games this season. If they share the points on Sunday it will be their highest total of draws since 15 in 1991-92 during a 42-game campaign.
  • Manchester United have won their last four Premier League fixtures which have come immediately after a Europa League game.
  • Jose Mourinho has never lost a Premier League game against Arsenal, winning five and drawing seven of his 12 previous meetings with the Gunners.
  • Wayne Rooney has scored 11 Premier League goals against Arsenal – more than any other player – and has 14 goals in 33 league and cup games versus the Gunners.
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