Though finishing in the top four of the Premier League is now more of imaginations than a reality, Arsenal are not expected to face fifth-placed Manchester United with that mentality when the Reds visit the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
While Arsenal campaign can easily be summarised as a disappointing one, hope was is not totally lost on securing a Champions League spot. After dropping out of the top four, consecutive wins over Middlesbrough and Leicester City had revived that hope but last weekend defeat to Tottenham pegged back the Gunners.
A win over Jose Mourinho’s men would do nothing to change our position on the league standing as we are five points below in the sixth place and six points adrift the fourth place, but losing to another top six rival would be the height of all the embarrassments already endured by the club this season.
United appeared weakened at the moment due to the absence of many first team players who are injured and Mourinho may decide to rest some key players as they have crucial games against Celta Vigo tonight in the Europa League and after, a trip to the Emirates, but that should not give room for complacency.
Arsenal will be without the services of Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka, who sustained an ankle injury in the north London derby defeat to Tottenham last weekend. Lucas Perez has resumed training but will not be available for the match after picking up a knock but Shkodran Mustafi is fit to play some parts in the match.
PROBABLE XI (3-4-3)
Petr Cech; Gabriel Paulista, Laurent Koscienly, Rob Holding; Nacho Monreal, Aaron Ramsey, Mohammed Eleny, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez