Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could hand Alexis Sanchez a start against his former club Arsenal in the FA Cup tie on Friday.
Manchester United will look to make it eight wins in eight games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, when they take on rivals Arsenal in the fourth round of the FA Cup at the Emirates Stadium.
Following their 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion, the Red Devils extended their winning run to seven matches under the Norwegian. They will be looking to build on it on Friday and advance further in the competition that provides them with the most realistic chance of winning silverware this term.
Solskjaer fielded a much-changed side for Manchester United’s 2-0 triumph over Reading in the third round of the FA Cup, but is expected to go in with a full-strength starting lineup against Unai Emery’s Gunners.
However, first-choice goalkeeper David de Gea is unlikely to feature, after it emerged that the Spaniard hasn’t travelled to London with the rest of the squad. Sergio Romero is expected to start between the sticks instead, as has been the case for cup ties.
The manager confirmed that Chris Smalling is back in training for Manchester United, but Friday’s game comes too soon for the defender, while Marcos Rojo remains sidelined.
“Smalling has started training so hopefully he’ll be available maybe next week so it’s looking good for him. Fellaini and Rojo are still a bit away,” Solskjaer said in his pre-match press conference.
Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones are expected to pair up in defence once again on Friday night. Ashley Young should continue as the right-back, but there is likely to be a change on the opposite side. Luke Shaw, who missed the Brighton game with an illness, is available and should replace Diogo Dalot.
The game against Reading saw Solskjaer hand starts to the likes of Fred, Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira in the middle of the park. But, that is unlikely to be the case going up against a top-six opposition, with the preferred midfield trio of Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba all set to feature from the kick off.
Solskjaer dropped a huge hint that Alexis Sanchez is set to start in attack against Arsenal at his former stomping ground on Friday. “He’ll be involved. He’s been fantastic in training, his attitude has been spot on so hopefully he’ll enjoy the game,” the manager said.
The Chilean is likely to feature on the left side of the attack, with Anthony Martial set to make way. Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku, who started and scored in the cup tie against Reading, are likely to miss out though, with in-form man Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard poised to get the nod.