Manchester United could be without as many as seven senior players for the Arsenal game this weekend.
Jose Mourinho could then be left to make plenty of changes in what is likely to be one of Man United’s toughest games of the season so far.
Two players who are definitely not going to play Arsenal are Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eric Bailly. Zlatan is suspended after picking up a booking against Swansea and Bailly is still sidelined with a ligament injury that will keep him out until at least December.
Chris Smalling is the next major concern and he isn’t expected to feature after reports during the international break suggested he suffered a broken toe in training. With Bailly already ruled out, a makeshift defence made up of Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind could well feature again.
Antonio Valencia underwent arm surgery recently on a feature but there is some speculation he could be fit to play. I don’t think he will but Valencia’s recovery is ahead of schedule, so maybe he’ll surprise us all by returning.
Then there are three other doubts in Wayne Rooney, Marouane Fellaini and Luke Shaw. Rooney left the England camp with a minor knee injury and returned to Man United early this week, so it remains to be seen if he’ll be fit and the same goes for Fellaini who left Belgium duty early with a calf injury. As for Shaw, his fitness has been called into question but he’s been posting videos of him doing private sessions in a bid to get fit for Arsenal.
It goes to show the strength of United’s squad that we could have this many players missing and still field a strong team against Arsenal but there are definitely concerns, especially in defence where we do look weak.
We’ll find out more about the fitness of all players concerned in Jose Mourinho‘s pre-match press conference on Friday.