OPINION By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Memphis Depay is the most likely player to spearhead the Manchester United attack against Arsenal if Anthony Martial fails to recover from a hamstring injury.
Louis van Gaal will nervously await updates from the overworked United medical team before naming his team for Sunday’s Premier League showdown against Arsenal.
With Wayne Rooney sidelined with knee ligament damage, there is the possibility that the Dutch manager will be without either of his senior front men for the clash at Old Trafford.
Martial was injured in the warm-up on Thursday night and asked after the 5-1 triumph over Midtjylland whether the Frenchman would be available against Arsene Wenger’s side, van Gaal admitted: “I don’t know because it has happened before the match. I’ve talked with him. I have talked with the physiotherapist that already had control of him. I cannot say, but it is not as heavy as everybody thinks, but you never know.
Van Gaal has ruled out the possibility of starting teenager Marcus Rashford, even though he scored two goals on his debut on Thursday night.
With Marouane Fellaini unavailable due to injury, United are likely to turn to ask pacy wide boy Depay to fill the striker role and run at the Arsenal defence.
Star trio David de Gea, Chris Smalling and Martial were among the 15 players unavailable for selection for Thursday’s 5-1 triumph over Midtjylland.
A second consecutive victory for a patched-up team eased some of the pressure on the manager but title chasers Arsenal will provide a far sterner challenge for United.
Van Gaal will know he needs as many of his big guns available as possible for what will be United’s third match in just seven days.
De Gea trained on Saturday is set to come into contention after missing three matches with a knee injury, while Smalling (shoulder) will join Martial in having a fitness test before being given the all clear.
Marcos Rojo could make his first start in three months after making his return from injury as a late substitute against Midtjylland on Thursday.
There could also be a return for Adnan Januzaj who is fit again following a hamstring problem but was cup-tied on Thursday after appearing in Europe for Borussia Dortmund while on loan earlier in the season.
Manchester United (possible) De Gea; Varela, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Carrick, Schneiderlin; Mata, Herrera, Lingard; Depay.