Emile Smith Rowe will replace captain Martin Odegaard when Arsenal and Manchester United face off at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Arsenal are heading into the big game this weekend against Manchester United at Old Trafford with a 100 per cent record thus far this season. And the Mikel Arteta’s men will be determined to extend that run by clinching the three points away from home now.
The Gunners have done reasonably well against Manchester United in their recent meetings, and it remains to be seen whether they can grind out a positive result here.
Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta has a number of injury issues to deal with, especially in the midfield. Martin Odegaard picked up a knock against Aston Villa, and the Arsenal captain is a doubt for this game. Meanwhile, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny have been ruled out for the game against Manchester United with injuries. Oleksandr Zinchenko also remains unavailable.
During his pre-match press conference, Arteta provided an update on the injured players. The Arsenal manager said, “Those two [Ramsdale and Odegaard] are being assessed, we will see more tomorrow. Hopefully they will be able to train with the team.”
“Unfortunately with Alex [Zinchenko] that’s still not the case, he missed two games and has not been able to train with the team yet. With Mo it’s probably a little bit easier and we are talking months. With Thomas, hopefully we are talking weeks or even shorter than that I hope.”
“We have tried to manage [Thomas]. A lot has happened since he joined and we are trying to find the best possible way to find the reason why that happens, but unfortunately, the body and mind are two different groups so sometimes to understand that you can’t put your finger on a single thing to try to prevent something happening.”
It will not be surprising to see defender Ben White step into the midfield alongside Granit Xhaka in the absence of Partey and Elneny against Manchester United. Furthermore, attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe is expected to come into the side if Martin Odegaard misses out.
The Norwegian playmaker has been excellent for Arsenal thus far this season, and his absence will come as a major blow as Arsenal look to break down of resolute Manchester United backline comprising of Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, Tyrell Malacia and Diogo Dalot. That said, it will be an opportunity for Smith Rowe to showcase his qualities and cement his place in the starting lineup.
As for the defensive unit, Japanese international Takehiro Tomiyasu is expected to come back into the side to fill in White. William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes are expected to partner each other at the heart of the Arsenal defence, with Kieran Tierney taking up the left-back role in Zinchenko’s absence.
Gabriel Jesus should retain his place as the lone striker, with Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli operating in the wide areas. It will be interesting to see whether Arteta’s makeshift midfield can compete with Manchester United and come away with a vital result from Old Trafford this weekend.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Tierney; Xhaka, White; Martinelli, Smith Rowe, Saka; Jesus