Manchester United’s top-four aspirations already hang in the balance ahead of a crucial Premier League fixture against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
While the Red Devils fade, the Gunners continue to enjoy a stunning new lease of life under manager Unai Emery, whose latest success was a 4-2 derby victory over Tottenham at the Emirates.
It would be a futher affirmation that Arsenal are back as a force to be reckoned with if they were to heap more misery upon Mourinho and his bedraggled squad.
|Game||Manchester United vs Arsenal|
|Date||Wednesday, December 5|
|Time||8pm GMT/5pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched on NBC and streamed via NBCSports.com.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be broadcast live on TV on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4K UHD. It can be streamed from the BT Sport app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 1||BT Sport app|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Manchester United squad|
|Goalkeepers||De Gea, Grant, Romero|
|Defenders||Rojo, Smalling, Lindelof, Jones, Bailly, Young, Dalot, Shaw, Valencia, Darmian|
|Midfielders||Pogba, Mata, Matic, McTominay, Herrera, Lingard, Pereira, Fred, Fellaini, Gomes, Hamilton|
|Forwards||Sanchez, Lukaku, Rashford, Martial, Chong, Bohui|
Man Utd starting XI: De Gea; Bailly, Smalling, Rojo; Dalot, Herrera, Matic, Darmian; Lingard, Rashford, Martial
|Goalkeepers||Cech, Leno, Martinez|
|Defenders||Bellerin, Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal, Mustafi, Holding, Lichtsteiner, Mavropanos, Kolasinac, Medley, Piguezuelo|
|Midfielders||Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Ozil, Guendouzi, Torreira, Maitland-Niles, Iwobi, Xhaka, Smith Rowe, Willock|
|Forwards||Lacazette, Aubameyang, Welbeck, Nketiah|
Arsenal starting XI: Leno; Mustafi, Sokratis, Holding; Bellerin, Torreira, Guendouzi, Kolasinac; Ramsey, Iwobi; Aubameyang
Betting & Match Odds
Manchester United are slender 29/20 favourites with bet365 . Arsenal are priced at 2/1 while a draw is 5/2.
Jose Mourinho’s third-season syndrome seems set to continue at Old Trafford, with Manchester United’s prospects of winning the Premier League title already scant before the Portuguese had a chance to open the first door on his advent calendar.
The Red Devils’ prospects took another blow on Saturday, when a side with a makeshift defence toiled to draw 2-2 at Southampton. United did well to rally to get on terms by the break after falling two behind, but in the second half they fell pitifully short of finding a winner.
Mourinho, however, remains bullish ahead of a fixture that could see United drop 11 points off the Champions League pace if they were to lose.
“We have eight or nine points from fourth, something like that, I don't think we need a miracle at all,” he said on Tuesday.
"We need a good run of results, not waste points we shouldn't waste. Last week, before the Crystal Palace game, I told my hopes and targets were that at the end of December to be in the top four. The target changed, but in the sense let's try to close the distance best we can and be very close to these positions.
“I think far from a miracle, we just need to not be so unlucky with problems that we have, we need some players to perform better than they are. We need to perform better as a team, but far from a miracle.”
While he remains under severe scrutiny over both his playing style and results, Unai Emery in the Arsenal dugout has rapidly won fans over.
The Spaniard had no honeymoon period at the club as he suffered defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea in his first two matches, but has since negotiated an undefeated run of 19 matches in all competitions that has the Gunners back where they feel they belong.
A stunning 4-2 derby victory over Tottenham helped to affirm the feel-good spirit that currently envelopes the club, with the Emirates rocking as strikes from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (two), Lucas Torreira and Alexandre Lacazette produced the type of display so long missed by fans.
Three points on Wednesday and there will be no doubt about it: Arsenal would be back.