The Dutchman partners Wayne Rooney in attack against his former club, who are without two of the key figures in Wednesday's away victory over Borussia Dortmund
The Dutchman partners Wayne Rooney in attack, but boy wonder Adnan Januzaj must be content with a place on the bench with Antonio Valencia and Shinji Kagawa preferred on the flanks.
For Arsenal, club captain Thomas Vermaelen is handed a rare start alongside Laurent Koscielny in the heart of defence, with Mertesacker absent through illness.
Mathieu Flamini also returns in place of Tomas Rosicky - also a victim of the bug - while Jack Wilshere is back on the bench having overcome his ankle problem, as revealed by Goal on Friday.
Manchester United: De Gea; Smalling, Vidic, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Jones, Carrick, Kagawa; Rooney, Van Persie.
Subs: Lindegaard, Giggs, Chicharito, Nani, Cleverley, Fellaini, Januzaj.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs; Arteta, Flamini, Ozil, Ramsey, Cazorla; Giroud.
Subs: Wilshere, Monreal, Fabianski, Bendtner, Jenkinson, Gnabry, Hayden.