Sky-SNF350compAhead of this weekend’s big match, news is coming out of the Arsenal camp that they have a bit of a mini injury and suspension crisis, particularly affecting central defence.

Well, I’m really sorry to hear that (NOT!) – but at least it might even things up from a United perspective, as we have one or two problems of our own.

Lets have a look at Arsenal first.

Monsieur Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has confirmed that he will be without Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Mikel Arteta, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Calum Chambers – who is suspended.

Wenger said: “Our main problems are still defensively because Koscielny looks like he will not be quite ready, Monreal is not back and Chambers is suspended.”

On the good news front, Per Mertesacker is available!

United’s main problem is also in defence but goalkeeper is the particular concern here.

Tim Krul and deputy Rob Elliot are both sidelined for several weeks. Novice keeper Jak Alnwick will be the man to face Arsenal, presumably with 17 year old Freddie Woodman on the bench as back-up.

United sought permission this week to borrow a keeper, but were turned down by the FA because they’re not a London club. Only joking! (or am I?) – the reason was more likely that Karl Darlow is registered with United even though he’s on a season-long loan with Nottingham Forest.

Midfield lynchpin Moussa Sissoko will also be missing through suspension.

United also have a long list of others who are definitely or potentially unavailable in Fabricio Coloccini, Mehdi Abeid, Ryan Taylor, Rolando Aarons, Gabriel Obertan, Siem DeJong, Davide Santon and Curtis Goode (phew!).

That’s the worst case scenario of course – one or two of that list might just scrape past a fitness test.

Irrespective of all the absentees, it should be a good game.

Although as its away from home, the NUFC ball-boys who according to the strange Senor Mourinho were the main reason we beat Chelsea (!), won’t be featuring in this game!!

For those of us not undertaking the long trek to London, the match is Sky’s choice for Saturday Night Footy. Kick off is at 5.30pm.

What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below.

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