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Erik’s squad update ahead of Arsenal trip

Erik’s squad update ahead of Arsenal trip
United take on the league leaders at the Emirates Stadium at 16:30 GMT, looking to extend our current unbeaten run to 11 matches.

Ten Hag’s side remain the only team to get the better of Arsenal in the Premier League this season – winning the reverse fixture 3-1 in September – and Erik says our preparations for this weekend’s fixture are now all but complete, as we go searching for a similar result this time around.

Speaking to club media ahead of our trip to the capital, the boss was asked if there is any fresh team news for the clash with the Gunners.

“Not really. I think we have good squad, a competing squad,” he said on Saturday afternoon, in an exclusive interview which you can see in full from Sunday morning.

“As you know, Casemiro is absent, but for the rest, we have a good team who has to battle with Arsenal.

“We have to go head-to-head, and we are convinced we are in a good way.

“We have a prepared team and a good plan and energy, and we will be acting [that].”

Jadon Sancho returned to team training at Carrington this week but will not be involved in Sunday’s match, according to Erik.

Ten Hag is looking forward to seeing the winger back on the pitch but says there is still “a way to go” and that our no.25 will not be rushed.

How Manchester United could line-up v Arsenal

Casemiro is a force to be reckoned with in midfield and while United beat Arsenal without him in September, the Gunners were without their star man Thomas Partey.

Arsenal have grown in confidence since, and we suspect Erik ten Hag could look to shift formation to shore up the midfield, and try to beat Arsenal on the counter, with two pacy attackers.

David de Gea will start in goal with Aaron Wan-Bissaka continuing at right-back. The centre-back pairing could see Luke Shaw partner Raphael Varane, like he did successfully in the derby. This would see Tyrell Malacia start at left-back.

Then in midfield, this is where we anticipate change, with Erik ten Hag shifting into a four-man system, to ensure United win the battle.

This would see Scott McTominay, Fred, Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes all start, giving United a good mix of tenacity and creativity. If required, Fernandes could also play wide, sticking to Ten Hag’s usual system.

What this extra man in midfield does, is focus the situation up front, to select just two attackers, and United would select Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho.

Their pace is ideal to stretch the Arsenal defence and break away on the counter. This also eliminates the choice between a half-fit Anthony Martial, and Wout Weghorst, who may be better as an impact substitute.

Erik's squad update ahead of Arsenal trip
Erik’s squad update ahead of Arsenal trip
Arsenal v Manchester United

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