SOCCER– Transformed United have taken a blistering 32 points from 36 available since Solskjaer was parachuted in from Molde in December – a run of 10 wins and two draws from 12 matches. It is hard to back against them losing any match with the atmosphere currently surrounding the club, especially if they get a few key players back fit, but ….
Aafter a week of hugely contrasting fortunes in Europe, Arsenal and Manchester United have little time to reflect as they collide at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow in what promises to be a pivotal clash in the captivating race for a top-four Premier League finish.
The ill-disciplined Gunners have it all to do in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie against French club Rennes following a 3-1 defeat in Brittany on Thursday in which they blew an early lead and played 50 minutes with 10 men following the dismissal of Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
It continued a week of disappointment for Unai Emery’s side, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Tottenham in the north London derby last weekend after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a late penalty saved by Hugo Lloris.
That latter result – combined with their own 3-2 comeback win over struggling Southampton – saw resurgent United jump above Arsenal and into fourth place, just three points adrift of Tottenham in third.
Things got even better at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday, when the depleted Red Devils made Champions League history – with the help of VAR – with a stunning 3-1 defeat of Paris Saint-Germain that sent them into the quarter-finals of the Champions League on away goals.
It was a stunning achievement that may just have sealed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future as the permanent successor to Jose Mourinho.
Lucas Torreira will miss matches against United, Newcastle and Everton after a three-match ban received for his tackle on Danny Rose in the dying seconds of the draw with Tottenham was upheld on appeal. Alexandre Lacazette and Sokratis are in.
United were without 10 senior players against PSG, but Paul Pogba’s suspension only ever applied to European competition and Anthony Martial has now recovered from a groin injury that saw him sidelined for three weeks. Midfield duo Nemanja Matic (muscle) and Ander Herrera (hamstring) face late fitness tests after returning to training.
THIS WEEKND – PREMIERSHIP
C. Palace vs. Brighton (SS3, 9.30)
Southampton vs. Tottenham (SS3, 6PM)
Huddersfield vs. Bournemouth (SS5,6PM)
Leicester vs. Fulham (SS6, 6PM)
Man City vs. Watford (SS3, 8.30PM)
SUNDAY, MARCH 10
Liverpool vs. Burnley (SS3, 3PM)
Chelsea vs. Wolves (SS3, 5.05PM)
Arsenal vs. Man Utd (SS3, 7.30PM)