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Strongest Manchester United Line-up To Face Arsenal: Depay To Continue On The Left Flank

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Memphis Depay

Manchester United will look to build on what has been a good week for them when they take on Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday. United secured qualification to the last 16 stage of the Europa League after hammering FC Midtjylland 5-1 on Thursday. While Arsenal went down to the defending Champions Barcelona on Tuesday at the Emirates stadium. Progression in the FA Cup and Europe has eased the pressure on Van Gaal somewhat but a top-four finish still looks very difficult for the Red Devils.

Memphis Depay
Memphis Depay

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

Although De Gea has missed the last three matches due to an injury, one feels Van Gaal might be tempted to start with his number one keeper in goal. If fit, beating the Spanish keeper might be the biggest challenge Arsenal face on Sunday.

Defenders: Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind and Guillermo Varela

Van Gaal is going through an injury crisis of sorts at the back. With Darmian still not match fit, the manager might want to take a risk with Rojo who has just returned to training and shift youngster Cameron Borthwick-Jackson to the bench for this one. Smalling missed the mid-week match with the slight injury but is expected to return to the starting line on Sunday and will pair up with Blind in the centre. United are still without a majority of their senior full-backs like Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young, therefore, Guillermo Varela should continue at right-back.

Midfielders: Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Memphis Depay, Ander Herrera and Morgan Schneiderlin      

When these two teams met last time, United were caught ball watching in the centre of the park, therefore, LVG might go with the younger pair of legs in the form of Herrera and Schneiderlin and keep Carrick on the bench. Juan Mata will be deployed in the number 10 role behind the striker and will be handed the responsibility of picking holes in the Arsenal defence. Jesse Lingard will continue on the right flank while Depay will be stationed on the left flank. The duel which could decide the match will be between the United’s wingers and Arsenal’s full backs.

Striker: Marcus Rashford

Wayne Rooney remains out with a knee injury while Anthony Martial is a major doubt after suffering a hamstring injury during the warm-up on Thursday, hence, youngster Rashford could be given his first Premier League start against Arsenal. He made an impressive debut on Thursday by bagging a brace and helping United progress further.