Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is likely to make changes as Manchester United look to make it three consecutive league wins against Arsenal on New Years Day.
The Reds face an Arsenal side that have won just one league game in two months, but look reenergised under Mikel Arteta despite slipping to defeat against Chelsea on Sunday.
United currently sit fifth and will be hoping to close the gap on the Champions League places with victory, whereas Arteta’s Arsenal will be hoping to climb the table and make their league position more respectable.
We looked at three important selection decisions Solskjaer has to make for the game at the Emirates:
Williams v Shaw
Brandon Williams was United’s man of the match in the 2-0 win against Burnley; he almost flawless at left-back. The teenager has delivered nearly every time he has been called upon and is certainly deserving of more than first-team minutes. His attacking threat was matched by a maturity and controlled aggression against a physical Burnley side. We expect Shaw to return against the Gunners at left-back as he remains Solskjaer’s first-choice at full-back. But we think Williams should be given the chance to shine again as he provides more danger going forward and barely put a foot wrong at Turf Moor.
Solskjaer has confirmed that Pogba should be fit and available to face Arsenal on Wednesday evening. His presence in the side will be a welcome boost with Scott Mctominay sidelined with a knee injury. Solskjaer has a decision to make in where he should start the game, presuming he is named in the eleven.
Pogba could fill in for McTominay in a midfield pivot with Fred who is finally starting to look like the player United signed two summers ago. Alternatively, Nemanja Matic could retain his place at the Emirates, paving the way for Pogba to start in a more advanced role ahead of Andreas Pereira. But Pereira seems essential in Solskjaer’s pressing game and he is unlikely to be dropped after an improved performance against Burnley. We expect the United boss to line up with a midfield three of Pogba, Fred and Pereira against Arteta’s side.
Greenwood v James
Many United fans suggested Greenwood should have started against Burnley because he is a more creative option against Sean Dyche’s low back. Instead, Solskjaer opted for the rapid James and he was certainly effective. The Welshman put in one of his best performances for the Reds; a constant menace on the right-wing and provided the assist as Rashford sealed the three points late on. Greenwood is an exceptional finisher and a brilliant option to bring on from the bench in the last half-hour if United need a goal. But James has earned his place on the right flank and his speed could cause real problems for a disjointed Arsenal defence.