Manchester United v Arsenal: ludicrous alarms and the likely line up



By Bulldog Drummond

Perfidious is the only polite word I can think of for these journalist chappies.  Consider this headline: Arsenal suffer injury blow ahead of Man Utd clash as three players could miss out

It suggested that there has been a new injury in training, when it appeared this morning, but no – it is just a reiteration of what we knew – Saka is injured and might not play.   Or as the Mirror puts it, “Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Bukayo Saka is facing a race against time to be fit for Arsenal’s trip to Manchester United on Thursday.”

Never use one word when 50 are available.

Oh yes and Xhaka and Kolasinac are injured.  But I think we knew that.

What we do know is that Michael Carrick is still in charge at Manchester United because Ralf Rangnick doesn’t have a work permit.  Of course, before we left the EU he wouldn’t have needed one, but now he does.  I guess Brexit had to work in favour some of the time.

A Manchester United statement said, “While the club follows the regulatory process around a work visa, Carrick will continue at the helm.”

Fractionally better is the article under the headline, Michael Owen’s prediction for Man Utd vs Arsenal as ex-striker agrees with David de Gea which says, “It’s still hard to grasp what Manchester United are in terms of style of play, but I do believe the German will have them far more organised, especially at set plays.   For Arsenal, there’s definitely been improvement here, although to be honest, I do think they’re slightly behind Manchester United when you look at the sides pound-for-pound.  With that in mind, I’m going for a home win for the Red Devils.”

So “pound for pound” Arsenal are behind Man U.  And that means…   well, I am not at all sure.  It might mean something, but I am not actually certain that it means anything at all.

Anyway, let’s look at some selections.  In fact, not many because lots of the normal outlets aren’t playing ball anymore and won’t give us a possible lineup.  

Sports Mole however do oblige with

Ramsdale;

Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tavares;

Partey, Lokonga;

Martinelli, Odegaard, Smith Rowe;

Aubameyang

Which is exactly the same as the line up from The Hard Tackle and indeed the same with iNews

Football Talk however think that Saka will be fit to play and also fancy the return of Tierney

Ramsdale;

Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney;

Partey, Lokonga;

Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe;

Aubameyang

But overall I really do wonder what is going on with these newspapers and websites.  There really is no proper coverage of the game.   The Telegraph spend a lot of time on betting tips for the match, but still no prediction of the team.

I can only guess that part of the problem is the move of these games to midweek to suit the deal with Amazon, with the match appearing on their channel.  Not having Prime myself, I started earlier in the week phoning round the local pubs using what seemed to be Amazon’s own official guide to which pub had Amazon Prime and would be showing the games.  

The most common answer I got was “I don’t know I’ll have to ask I’ll call you back” and of course I got no calls back.   So I have a couple of pubs nearby noted on the Amazon notice as possibles, despite their uncertainty and I’ll have to be prepared to make the trek.

But really, what a stupid way to sell football.  Limited coverage in the media and uncertainty among the pubs as to whether they are showing the game or not.  

Still, we have published a few things on this game, so if you are wanting a read, before it all happens, you could try one (or more) of these…