Man United vs Arsenal: Three players Jose Mourinho must start

by Leo Nieboer


Manchester United welcome Arsenal to Old Trafford this Saturday for what promises to be an explosive encounter between two sides looking to make up ground on leaders Liverpool.

A win for Mourinho’s men could take them to within five points off the top, despite being dismissed as title contenders last month by a multitude of – as Jose would call them – ‘football einsteins’.

Defeat on Saturday could result in Man United going 11 points adrift, however, making this contest a must-win affair for Mourinho, who hasn’t lost against Arsene Wenger in 13 previous meetings.

With that in mind, here are three players who must start on Saturday.

Marcus Rashford

Nobody – especially Arsenal’s back four – will ever forget the demolition job Rashford performed on his debut against Arsenal back in February. He was too quick, too unpredictable, and the Gunners – alongside the rest of the watching world – could only watch on in stunned silence.

Memories of that sunny afternoon will linger in the heads of Wenger’s men as the 19-year-old takes Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s place up-front. And his sheer power and tenacity going forward will be crucial when it comes to dismantling a hitherto reliable back line.

Michael Carrick

Man United’s record with Carrick in the starting XI this season speaks volumes about his unquestionable importance to Mourinho’s side: six starts, six wins. And against an Arsenal side hellbent on controlling proceedings in midfield, the 35-year-old’s dictatorial, composed presence in the middle will be crucial when it comes to forcing the issue against Wenger’s men.

Ander Herrera

The Spaniard has cemented himself as a fundamental aspect of Mourinho’s midfield this season, and this feels like the perfect game for Herrera. Furiously quick, tenacious and rife with passion: the kind of midfield battle the Spaniard relishes.

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