After Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Southampton, Manchester United are at the 7th position, 8 points off a Champions League place. In the MUTV press conference, José Mourinho said that United were “in difficulties” but refused to go into more details in fear of giving Arsenal a competitive edge. The Portuguese manager has refused to give a full injury update to the team’s channel ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League clash with Arsenal. United are undoubtedly facing a defensive crisis ahead of that game. He said,
”I don’t want to update you. I would like Arsenal TV to make the same questions but they don’t, they hide everything from the inside, so why should I answer to you.”
Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelöf missed Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Southampton on account of injuries. Ashley Young is suspended for the upcoming match, while Jones is in doubt for the Arsenal game. Phil Jones and Nemanja Matić were composed into a frontline defence alongside Scott McTominay. Marcos Rojo, who is still recovering, was on the bench in the previous match.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are assessing the fitness of Mesut Özil who did not play in the previous Arsenal-Spurs match; this ended up in Gunners thrashing the Spurs by 4-2. Granit Xhaka lies suspended after collecting five yellow cards, while Danny Welbeck’s injury is going to keep him on the sidelines for a while.
Asked about his declared target of reaching the 4th spot by the end of December, Mourinho replied,
“Before Palace, I said my target would be the end of December in the top four. Now the target has changed. Now we have to try to be very close to these positions. We need not be so unlucky with problems that we have. We need some players to perform.”
He further stated boldly,
“I can agree even though the investment Everton made was phenomenal. I don’t think Everton will be in front of United by the end of the season.”
The Portuguese manager talked about a central defensive signing as a priority. As the January window approaches, he may be tempted to buy certain players in order to be more competitive in the league. Alexis Sanchez – who reportedly wants to leave Old Trafford – and the potential departure of Juan Mata this summer has made signing another crucial player top priority. Manchester United are ready to battle Liverpool and Chelsea for the rising sensation Christian Pulisic, according to reports.
United host 4th-placed Arsenal who are on a 19-match unbeaten streak. The Gunners seem all set to play away at Old Trafford on Wednesday. Manchester United are currently a mid-table team who don’t pose much of a threat to any team in the league. If the Red Devils are to close in on the Champions League places, they cannot afford to settle for anything less than a win against Arsenal at Old Trafford.