Jurrien Timber decision, Tomiyasu injury covered – Arsenal XI changes for Manchester United trip

A new injury concern gives Mikel Arteta a new challenge and a three-way choice as Arsenal take on Manchester United.

Jurrien Timber is pushing for first Arsenal appearance since August

Arsenal go into this weekend with a very simple task: win and the title race is guaranteed to go to the final match of the season. In their way is a Manchester United side who are arguably the most unpredictable in the league.

One moment they can be taking points off the likes of Liverpool and knocking them out of the FA Cup, the next they’re being battered 4-0 by Crystal Palace and losing at home to Fulham. Arsenal, however, are on a great run of form and have the most momentum and squad availability they’ve had all season.

Jurrien Timber is in contention for the squad too and could make the travelling group for the first time since the opening match of the season. With Takehiro Tomiyasu not spotted in the training session on Tuesday, Timber’s return might have come at the perfect time.

Meanwhile, United have got a plethora of injury issues which contributed heavily to their makeshift side which conceded four at Selhurst Park. Casemiro struggling in the centre of defence while Aaron Wan-Bissaka played at left-back once again in a season where both Luke Shaw and his understudy Tyrell Malacia have been absent for most of the campaign.

Erik ten Hag may be able to call on some returning players but nothing is guaranteed. That is why from the Gunners’ perspective very little change, if any, is needed as they look to pick up a record 27th Premier League win.

At left-back, should Tomiyasu not figure then Timber is an option. The other two choices fall to Jakub Kiwior and Oleksandr Zinchenko where the former might be preferred away from home to offer greater defensive stability.

Elsewhere, the team effectively picks itself with Bukayo Saka now back to his best with Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard also in great goalscoring form. Martin Odegaard, Declan Rice and the return of Thomas Partey have seen a midfield trio go unchallenged.

The combination of the form plus the return of the week’s rest which had been missing throughout April, Mikel Arteta’s big changes have now faded away. Ten Hag will have an easy time predicting how Arsenal might set up, but preparing for it is another thing entirely.

Arsenal team vs Manchester United: Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior; Partey, Rice, Odegaard; Saka, Havertz, Trossard.

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