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Manchester United vs Arsenal: Team news, formations, injuries, potential lineups

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Arsenal will travel to Old Trafford on Wednesday to face Manchester United in the midweek Premier League clash.

While Arsenal defeated their North London rivals, Tottenham 4-2 on Sunday, Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side drew 2-2 with Southampton.

Ahead of the top four encounter against United, Arsenal manager, Unai Emery will have some key selection decisions to make.

Arsenal are unbeaten in 19 matches across all competitions, and ex-German international, Mesut Ozil is a doubt for the clash against United.

The German playmaker was dropped to the bench against Bournemouth, then missed the north London derby after suffering a back spasm in training and will be assessed closer to kick-off.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Monday, Emery said, “I said yesterday [Sunday] he’s had backache since last Tuesday.

“He couldn’t play in Kiev or yesterday. At the moment, I don’t know if he can play in Manchester.

“Today he was working alone, I don’t know if he’s okay for Wednesday.”

Emery initially set his side up in a 3-4-2-1 formation but switched things around at half-time, introducing Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette.

The Spaniard is likely to continue with two strikers up front against United, particularly with Jose Mourinho’s side suffering an injury crisis in defence.

Grant Xhaka is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season, so Matteo Guendouzi is expected to replace the Swiss international alongside Lucas Torreira.

Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are both expected to drop out of the starting XI while Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Rob Holding should continue as a back three.

Nacho Monreal is still doubtful due to a hamstring problem which has been hampering the Spaniard since early October.

Sead Kolasinac should continue at left wing-back in Monreal’s absence while Laurent Koscielny will be assessed closer to the match but is unlikely to be risked as he continues his recovery from an Achilles injury.

Arsenal’s potential XI: (3-4–1-2): Leno; Mustafi, Sokratis, Holding; Bellerin, Torreira, Guendouzi, Kolasinac; Ramsey; Lacazette, Aubameyang.

For Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese faces a huge selection crisis ahead of the clash as he is dealing with a host of injuries and absences.

The Red Devils are 16 points behind table-toppers Manchester City and face an uphill task to catch their rivals with as many as 12 first-team players currently doubtful.

Mourinho was forced play a central midfielders Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay in a back five last time out, with regular centre-backs Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof all injured

Defender Lindelof is ruled out of facing the Gunners while Phil Jones is also doubtful after picking up an injury against Saints.

United will hope at least one of Bailly and Smalling is fit in time to face the Gunners.

Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian are also doubtful having missed the draw with Southampton.

Right-back Ashley Young is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season while Luke Shaw was forced off with an injury during the second half against Southampton.

With so many defenders sidelined, Argentine defender, Diogo Dalot could be set for his first Premier League start while Marcos Rojo may also be called into action.

Manchester United potential lineup against Arsenal: (4-3-3): De Gea; Dalot, Smalling, Rojo, Darmian; Matic, Herrera, Fellaini; Lingard, Martial, Rashford.

Football

Fans fume over use of VAR in Champions League clash between Man city and Schalke

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Manchester City fans are adamant VAR has been used against them in their Champions League clash with Schalke this evening.

The German side were awarded two penalties in the first half to send the German side 2-1 up after 45 minutes.

And it has since emerged the television screen the referee is supposed to be able to use was not functioning.

Sergio Aguero gave Manchester City an early lead before Schalke were awarded their first penalty.

That was for a contentious handball by Nicolas Otamendi.
They were then punished a second time as Fernandinho fouled his man.

And that left City fans raging on social media.

One said: “What in the world is going on? City dominating. #VAR is now up 2-1 vs #ManCity.”

Another added: “It’s a shocking decision. The player is actively trying to avoid the ball and VAR goes against him. @ChampionsLeague sick decision. @ManCity unjustly punished there.”

A third explained: “Man City re getting robbed by the VAR…”
Ex-City midfielder Michael Brown was adamant the first penalty should not have been given.

He said: “There’s no way it’s deliberate handball.

“Otamendi gets set, sees he’s in trouble, that it’s heading towards his arm.

“He very quickly tries to put it behind his back but the ball is hit that quick at his arm that he can’t get it out of the way.”
Brown also criticised how long it took for a decision to be made with the use of VAR.

He added: “It was probably the longest VAR in history deciding the right decision.

“I don’t think they knew. Then finally they give the penalty.”

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Schalke 2-3 Man City: Sane, Sterling score late goals

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Late goals from Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling gave Manchester City a 3-2 win at Schalke in their Champions League Round of 16 first leg.

Substitute Sane scored against his former club with a sensational free kick in the 86th after Nabil Bentaleb converted two spot kicks in the 38th and 45th minutes to put Schalke ahead.

Sergio Aguero had given City the lead in the 18th and the English champions were left with 10 men in the 68th minute when Nicolas Otamendi was sent off following a second booking.

City, who have conceded at least two goals in six of their seven games in the Champions League knockout stages under Pep Guardiola, will also be without yellow-carded Fernandinho for the return leg in Manchester on March 12.

SCHALKE 2-3 MANCHESTER CITY | AGUERO (18), BENTALEB (36, 44), SANE (84), STERLING (90)

Schalke XI: Fahrmann, Caliguiri, Bruma, Sane, Nastasic, Oczikpa, Serdar, Bentaleb, McKennie, Uth, Mendyl
Manchester City XI: Ederson, Walker, Laporte, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Silva, Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero

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Chelsea

Chelsea told to appoint former EPL manager as Sarri’s replacement

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Former Arsenal goalkeeper, David Seaman, has told Chelsea to appoint former Gunners boss, Arsene Wenger as Maurizio Sarri’s replacement at Stamford Bridge.

Seaman believes Wenger would be a great choice to replace Sarri at the West London club.

He stated this ahead of Chelsea’s UEFA Europa League round of 32 second-leg tie with Malmo on Thursday night.

Sarri, who joined Chelsea last summer, has been under intense pressure at Stamford Bridge due to the club’s recent poor performances.

“Arsene Wenger would be great at Chelsea, I think. He’d be great anywhere, he’s a fantastic manager,” Seaman said on talkSPORT.

“Arsene always said he wouldn’t come back to the Premier League because of his love for Arsenal that he wouldn’t feel right competing against Arsenal.

“But obviously time’s a healer and he could think. I want to go back there and prove a few people wrong.”

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