Arsenal are set to be without midfielder Granit Xhaka for tonight’s Premier League game with Manchester United.
Xhaka has been out since the end of September due to injury and Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta confirmed in his press conference that the Swiss midfielder is still not ready to return. His last appearance was in the North London derby win.
Xhaka was quoted by Football.London: “Granit is still not ready.”
Defender Sead Kolasinac is also out for United’s opponents, with Bukayo Saka a doubt.
Xhaka has been a thorn in United’s side
Xhaka has faced United 11 times in his career and only lost three times. Few players have a record that good.
This goes back to his days with Basel, in which he went unbeaten against Sir Alex Ferguson’s United in two Champions League games in 2010, drawing 3-3 and winning 2-1.
David de Gea and Phil Jones are the only United players who remain in the squad from that defeat.
Since joining Arsenal, Xhaka did endure three defeats against United, but none of them recent.
Arsenal have not lost any of their last five matches against United, with Xhaka starting four of them, scoring a deflected goal in the win in 2019.
Arsenal did leave Xhaka as an unused substitute in their 1-0 win at Old Trafford last season, but he played in the 0-0 draw at The Emirates.
In tonight’s clash at Old Trafford, Arsenal are likely to start Thomas Partey in midfield, who was excellent in the win last season.
He will be partnered by Albert Lokonga, a summer signing from Anderlecht, who has played well in recent weeks after a tricky start.
United’s injury list still stuck
Michael Carrick could offer no definitive good news for Manchester United ahead of tonight’s clash with Arsenal.
Edinson Cavani and Luke Shaw are still sidelined. Caretaker boss Carrick told the club website: “Nothing really new. “There are always niggles at this time of year, playing a lot of games. There are always players you’re waiting on a little bit, to an extent.”
Harry Maguire is returning from suspension, if selected. Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof performed well in his absence away at Chelsea.
Raphael Varane is making gradual progress, with Carrick telling the club website: “He’s out on the grass but it won’t be any time this week, by any stretch, it’ll be a little bit further than that, if not even longer.”
Cristiano Ronaldo will be facing Arsenal for the first time since the 2008/09 season, when he knocked the Gunners out of the Champions League semi-finals.
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