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Man Utd handed boost as key duo look set to return against Arsenal
Arsenal have been dealt a blow ahead of our trip to Old Trafford with David De Gea and Chris Smalling set to return for Manchester United.
De Gea has missed their last three matches with a knee injury which he suffered during the warm up before their Europa League clash with Midtjylland last week.
However, the Spaniard is back in training and Louis van Gaal has confirmed to ManUtd.com that he expects his No.1 to return in goal against Arsenal tomorrow.
“I expect [David can return] because I saw the way he was today,” van Gaal said
That’s a significant blow as De Gea is one of their best players, if not the best, and no doubt he’ll have another worldie against us on Sunday.
The Red Devils could also welcome back Chris Smalling after he sat out their midweek game with a minor shoulder injury which he suffered against Shrewsbury last week.
The 25-year-old told ManUtd.com that he hopes to be back in contention in order to continue his fine run of games in the side having missed just two matches all season.
“Touch wood, that carries on, I was disappointed to miss the other night, but I’m hoping to be okay to play this game [against Arsenal].”
“I’ve not really done anything differently to the other lads but, probably from about halfway through last season, I got on a good run in the team and I’ve just tried to carry that on from there. Long may it continue.”
van Gaal says the defender remains a doubt but I don’t think anyone will be surprised if Smalling is named in their starting eleven this weekend which will be another boost to United as he’s been their best defender this season.
One piece of good news for Arsenal is that Anthony Martial is a major doubt after missing the Midtjylland game in midweek with a hamstring problem.
All the newspapers seem to think the striker won’t be fit but van Gaal played down the severity of the injury, so there is still a chance Martial could start tomorrow.
When asked if the striker will face Arsenal, van Gaal told the United website:
“I don’t know because it has happened before the match. I’ve talked with him. I have talked with the physiotherapist that already had control of him. I cannot say, but it is not as heavy as everybody thinks, but you never know.
Let’s hope Martial is ruled out as he’s a real danger-man who would no doubt cause us plenty of problems if he plays on Sunday. Yeah, the kid Rashford had a dream debut on Thursday but I’m sure Mertesacker and Koscielny would much rather face the teenager than Martial tomorrow.