Manchester United v Arsenal preview: Anthony Martial doubtful for Super Sunday clash
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 28/02/16 2:06pm
Anthony Martial is a doubt for Manchester United's Super Sunday clash with Arsenal, but Louis van Gaal's side expect to welcome back goalkeeper David de Gea.
Martial injured his hamstring in the warm-up to Thursday's 5-1 Europa League Round of 32 win over FC Midtjylland - a week on from the first leg where De Gea injured his knee in similar circumstances.
De Gea's timely return will come as a welcome boost for United as they look to secure qualification for next season's Champions League, while denting Arsenal's title charge.
With leaders Leicester playing host to Norwich on Saturday, Arsene Wenger's side could find themselves five points off the pace before kick-off.
The Gunners haven't won in the league at the Theatre of Dreams since September 2006, and they'll have to do without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain following the midfielder's knee injury in Tuesday's Champions League defeat to Barcelona.
United are waiting to see whether two other recent addition to their lengthy injury list, defenders Chris Smalling (shoulder) and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (unspecified), are able to make their comebacks.
There are signs the injury crisis at Old Trafford may be easing somewhat, with the likes of Antonio Valencia (foot) and Adnan Januzaj (hamstring) are nearing returns, although they are doubtful for Sunday's game.
Arsene Wenger is unsure when Oxlade-Chamberlain will return from his knee injury. The Frenchman confirmed the England winner will play no part on Sunday, with the midfielder expected to be sidelined "for a few weeks".
Gunners defender Gabriel will undergo a fitness test ahead of the game as he looks to return from a hamstring problem, while Jack Wilshere (leg), Santi Cazorla (knee) and Tomas Rosicky (thigh) are all still missing.
Arsenal have won none and lost six of their last eight Premier League trips to Old Trafford.
The Gunners' win against United at the Emirates earlier this season ended a run of eight Premier League matches without a victory against the Red Devils for Arsene Wenger's men (W0 D3 L5).
Arsenal have dropped seven points from winning positions away from home, the joint-most in the Premier League along with Man Utd.
Arsenal have kept five clean sheets in their last eight Premier League matches.
Only three players (Thierry Henry 20 in 2002/03, Frank Lampard 18 in 2004/05 and Cesc Fabregas, 18 in 2014/15) have assisted more goals in a single Premier League season than Mesut Ozil (17) in 2015/16.
Man Utd (33) have scored fewer goals after 26 league games than in any season since 1989-90 (30).
Manchester United have earned fewer points this season than in any other Premier League campaign after 26 games (41).
Arsenal have only won two of their last seven Premier League away matches (W2 D3 L2), this following a run of 12 away matches where they won 10.
Manchester United have scored 995 goals at Old Trafford in the Premier League.
Just 21 per cent of the attempts Arsenal have made in the Premier League this season have been from outside the box, the lowest proportion in the top division.
Both sides have had European commitments in midweek but I'm not looking too much into that. I'm not sure their midweek exertions will have much of an effect and I see Arsenal coming out on top.
They are the favourites with the bookmakers and I can understand why when you look at the recent form of both teams. Olivier Giroud is the man I'm backing to score first with Arsene Wenger's side enhancing their title claims with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (Sky Bet Odds 17/2)
Watch Manchester United v Arsenal live on Super Sunday, 1pm, Sky Sports 1 HD