How Man Utd could line up against Arsenal with Antony set for debut and Cristiano Ronaldo pushing to start huge clash | The Sun
2nd September 2022

ANTONY is set to make his Manchester United debut in the crunch clash against Arsenal on Sunday.

However, he may be forced to settle for a place on the bench to start with.


The £85.5million transfer only secured his switch on deadline day and was therefore not registered in time to face Leicester.

And Erik ten Hag may well be tempted to stick to his winning formula after three wins in a row.

That might mean Antony – who trained with his team-mates for the first time today – could be used as a super-sub later on in the game rather than throwing him straight in.

That would also see Cristiano Ronaldo forced to start among the substitutes again despite now being on the "same page" as the new boss after his failed plot to get a transfer exit.

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Instead, Marcus Rashford would lead the line at Old Trafford – especially because Anthony Martial is still unavailable.

Jadon Sancho is enjoying his hot streak in front of goal so will likely keep his place with Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Elanga providing attacking flair in front of Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen.

The back four is starting to settle together and form strong partnerships – contributing to back-to-back clean sheets.

So Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia look on course to keep their spots in defence with David de Gea in goal.

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However, should Antony and Ronaldo impress in training today and tomorrow, they could get the nod – likely in place of Rashford and Elanga.

Ten Hag said on the possibility of Antony playing: "We will have to see.

"Of course I am really excited, a really good signing. He will bring temperament, creativity, fighting spirit and we need quality in numbers in the offensive department."

The Red Devils boss will also want to bring £60m signing Casemiro into the starting XI before long.

He came on against Southampton and Leicester but will surely slot into a deep-lying midfield slot – possibly even alongside defensive-minded Fred due to the threat of Arsenal's devastating attack.

Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are both trying to shrug off injuries so Dalot and Malacia will almost certainly continue while Ten Hag has no reason to re-introduce Harry Maguire or bring in back-up keeper Martin Dubravka.

Ten Hag said: “It’s difficult to say when I talk about Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka but Anthony Martial will not be available for Sunday.

“I cannot tell when Martial will be back at this moment.”

Mikel Arteta's Arsenal arrive in the north-west top of the league with a perfect 100 per cent record of five wins from five matches.

New No9 Gabriel Jesus has hit the ground running with three goals already while Gabriel Martinelli is impressing too.

Ten Hag added: “I have seen Arsenal, a tough opponent, they have started really well as we all know in the season.

"You can see there is a team who have had a long time together, with a coach who brings his philosophy in the team. 

“So, this is a good test and I’m really looking forward to it.

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"We will pick the right XI to start but as you see, it’s not only a team, we have a squad.

"At Leicester the subs who came on did really well so I’m happy with that."


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