Predicted Man United XI v Arsenal: New hero Rashford starts, vital pair return in defensive reshuffle

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Manchester United have the chance to have an impact on this season’s Premier League title race when they host old rivals Arsenal on Sunday.

The Red Devils are 12 points off the pace and out of the championship picture, but they can at least hurt Arsenal’s title chances at Old Trafford.

Louis van Gaal’s side overcame crippling injury problems to successfully negotiate their Europa League round-of-32 tie with FC Midtjylland in midweek.

Will Van Gaal gamble on 18-year-old hero Marcus Rashford against the Gunners? Here, CaughtOffside predicts United’s lineup at the Theatre of Dreams.

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GK: David de Gea

Van Gaal told United’s official website that he is hopeful of having the goalkeeper back after three matches on the sidelines. That would be a massive boost considering his other injury problems.

RB: Guillermo Varela

The 22-year-old likely faces the biggest test of his career to date against Arsenal and Alexis Sanchez.

CB: Chris Smalling

Has told the Manchester Evening News that he expects to be fit for the visit of the Gunners after sitting out in midweek because of a knock. Van Gaal would likely risk him if he is touch-and-go.

Chris Smalling Manchester United

CB: Michael Carrick

In spite of Smalling’s potential return, Carrick could be used at centre-back again because Daley Blind may be needed elsewhere. Paddy McNair is on standby if Carrick is to play in midfield.

LB: Daley Blind

Blind played centrally against Midtjylland, but the versatile Dutchman may be required at left-back this weekend, with Cameron Borthwick-Jackson unavailable and Marcos Rojo short of match sharpness.

CM: Morgan Schneiderlin

Has not produced the type of form this season which will make Arsenal regret not prising him from Southampton ahead of United in the summer. Bastian Schweinsteiger remains out, Sky Sports reports.

CM: Ander Herrera

Scored his first goal since October in Thursday’s Europa League victory. Is similar in many ways to Arsenal counterpart Aaron Ramsey. It will be interesting to see who wins that battle.

Ander Herrera Man United

AMR: Jesse Lingard

This is the perfect stage for the 23-year-old winger to deliver a message to England boss Roy Hodgson.

AMC: Juan Mata

Needs to put Thursday’s missed penalty behind him quickly because Van Gaal will need his senior creator to be on his game against the Gunners. If the Spaniard is not, Wayne Rooney will be sorely missed.

AML: Memphis Depay

Enjoyed his best match in a Red Devils shirt for several months against the Danes in midweek. With several of his fellow attackers out, now would be the perfect time for the Dutchman to deliver.

ST: Marcus Rashford

Anthony Martial is a major doubt after pulling up in the warm-up on Thursday, the Daily Mail reports. Rookie Rashford, 18, magically stepped into his shoes against Midtjylland with two goals on debut. Arsenal in the Premier League is a different entity entirely, but more heroics would be spectacular!

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More Stories Ander Herrera Chris Smalling daley blind David de Gea Guillermo Varela Jesse Lingard Juan Mata Marcus Rashford Memphis Depay Michael Carrick morgan schneiderlin