Man Utd vs Arsenal preview: Will Ronaldo start?

Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Man Utd vs Arsenal in the Premier League on Thursday; kick-off 8.15pm.

Team news

Cristiano Ronaldo will hope to return to the Manchester United line-up after being dropped to the bench for Sunday’s draw at Chelsea.

Michael Carrick, who will lead the team again as new interim boss Ralf Rangnick waits for his work permit to be finalised, played down the call during his pre-match press conference, saying: “These types of decisions get blown up a lot bigger than they probably are. Decisions are made for a lot of different reasons and certain ones get bigger news than others, but that is how it was.

“I didn’t see it as being a major decision. It certainly wasn’t within the camp. We all got on really well with it. The game went well, to a certain extent, and it wasn’t a drama at all.”

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Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher did not hold back in the Super Sunday studio after they both disagreed on Cristiano Ronaldo’s role at Manchester United.

Harry Maguire returns from a one-match ban, while Luke Shaw will be monitored after missing the games against Villarreal and Chelsea following a head injury.

Raphael Varane, Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani are not yet ready to return.

Arsenal hope to have Bukayo Saka available after he picked up an injury against Newcastle last weekend.

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Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta says Bukayo Saka will undergo a scan after suffering a muscular injury during Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Newcastle.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said: “I am hopeful but we don’t know. Bukayo is really willing. He’s been preparing for the last two days because he wants to play. Let’s see how he is.”

Granit Xhaka and Sead Kolasinac are still not fit and will not be involved at Old Trafford.

How to follow

Follow Man Utd vs Arsenal in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel after full-time.

Last time out…

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s draw with Manchester United in the Premier League.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win against Newcastle in the Premier League.

Opta stats

  • Manchester United are winless in their last six Premier League meetings with Arsenal – they’ve never gone seven league games without a win against the Gunners before.
  • Following their 1-0 win at Old Trafford last season, Arsenal are looking to win consecutive away league games against Manchester United for the first time since February 1979.
  • Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three meetings with Manchester United in all competitions, as many as they had in their previous 13 against them. They’ve never kept a clean sheet in four consecutive games against the Red Devils before.
  • Manchester United have lost just two of their 14 Premier League matches on a Thursday (W8 D4), with those defeats coming at Middlesbrough in December 2002 (1-3) and at home to Liverpool in May last season (2-4).
  • Each of the last eight Premier League goals at Old Trafford have been scored against Manchester United – the Red Devils have never previously conceded nine consecutive goals at the ground in the competition without replying themselves. The last time they had a run of eight home goals conceded without scoring in between was from February to March 2014.

Premier League Review: Was Carrick right to drop Ronaldo? Pressure on Rafa ahead of derby, Howe’s problems and title tips

On the latest Essential Football Podcast Alice Piper is joined by Sky Sports football writers Gerard Brand and Ben Grounds to look back on another big weekend at both ends of the Premier League table after Chelsea’s lead slipped following a 1-1 draw with Man Utd at Stamford Bridge.

Was Michael Carrick right to opt against starting Cristiano Ronaldo – and should United have signed him at all? United’s interim-to-the-interim manager’s tactics are assessed ahead of Ralph Rangnick’s arrival, questions raised over Chelsea’s attacking prowess, while will Arsenal fancy facing this United side next given their own form?

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