Injuries mount for City, Utd eye turnaround; Gunners face Reds - GulfToday

Injuries mount for City, Utd eye turnaround; Gunners face Reds

Manchester United

From left: Paul Pogba, Donny Van De Beek and Nemanja Matic of Manchester United during a recent training session at Aon Training Complex in Manchester. Courtesy: Twitter

London: Manchester United and Chelsea need a swift response to their title credentials being damaged by home defeats last weekend, while one or both of Liverpool and Arsenal’s perfect records will come to an end when they face off at Anfield on Monday night.

Meanwhile, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola claims to have just 13 fit senior players for Sunday’s Premier League home tie against with Leicester, the other side with maximum points from the opening two weekends.

Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko have been sidelined by injury, while Ilkay Gundogan has tested positive for coronavirus and Aymeric Laporte’s pre-season was also delayed when he contracted COVID-19.

Crystal Palace and Everton, who also boast maximum points from their first two games, have the chance to claim top spot when they meet at Selhurst Park on Saturday. Chelsea travel to bottom-of-the-table West Brom, who are still seeking their first point back in the top-flight.

Optimism that United could return to challenging for the title after a 14-game unbeaten run to end last season was washed away with that unbeaten record as Palace were good value for their 3-1 win at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men looked desperately short of match sharpness having had barely two weeks of pre-season training.

Solskjaer meanwhile hinted that Victor Lindelof could be the fall guy after Manchester United’s defeat to Crystal Palace.

Centre-back Lindelof conceded a penalty and was easily brushed aside by Wilfried Zaha in the lead-up to Palace’s third goal at Old Trafford last weekend and Solskjaer suggested Eric Bailly’s return to fitness could see him start alongside Harry Maguire.

The Red Devils desperately need three points at Brighton on Saturday to bring some calm.

Brighton were the better side for long spells despite losing 3-1 to Chelsea on the opening weekend and bounced back with a comprehensive 3-0 win at Newcastle.

Arsenal have got the better of Liverpool twice in recent months, but the acid test for Mikel Arteta’s side comes at what he described as the “toughest place to go in the world”, Anfield, on Monday.

Agence France-Presse

English Premier League fixtures:
(all times GMT): Brighton vs Manchester United (1130), Crystal Palace vs Everton (1400), West Brom vs Chelsea (1630), Burnley vs Southampton (1900);
Sunday: Sheffield United vs Leeds (1100), Tottenham vs Newcastle (1300), Manchester City vs Leicester (1530), West Ham vs Wolves (1800);
Monday: Fulham vs Aston Villa (1745), Liverpool vs Arsenal (1900)

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