We still have one more round of international games to go before the Arsenal take the trip up to Old Trafford for Arsene Wenger’s grudge match of the year. The Gunners have had a fair amount of invalids already this season and it looks like Hector Bellerin and Alexis Sanchez could be added to that list, certainly for the Man United clash anyway.
Of course we also have Lucas Perez, Per Mertesacker, Danny Welbeck, Chuba Akpom and Santi Cazorla already on the sidelines, but now let’s look at the players that the embittered Man United manager will not be able to call on next weekend. Right now if you check the early Man United v Arsenal odds at 888Sport, you will find Mourinho’s men are the very slight favourites, but if all the following players are missing the price on the Gunners could drop rapidly.
For starters one big miss will be Zlatan Ibrahimovic who happily picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the Swansea City game and made sure he wouldn’t be able to torment the man that wanted him to do a trial at Arsenal..
Another big one is the defender Eric Bailly who has a knee injury and won’t return before Christmas. Also poor old (young) Chris Smalling will also be missing for United. He got a roasting from Jose but then it turned out that he has a broken toe. As we know from Oli Giroud’s toe, this could mean a long break stewing in the treatment room.
There is a very small possibility that Antonio Valencia may return after having recovered from a broken arm but I think that is just wishful thinking on the Red Devils side.
Luke Shaw also has just returned to the training ground, but again the Arsenal game is probably too early to see him return. Both Marouane Fellaini and Wayne Rooney have been sent home from international duty and it remains to be seen how bad their injuries are, but I’m thinking that Jose will play both of them.
Both Wenger and Mourinho will be keeping a watchful eye on the remaining international matches in the hope that no more of their players join the crowds on the treatment table!