Arsenal fans will be keeping a close eye on events at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
And not just because Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United moved the Gunners to within six points of Premier League leaders Chelsea, but rather to scout their next opposition.
Manchester United take part in the first of back-to-back clashes against London opposition in less than a week in what is likely to be Michael Carrick’s final game as caretaker manager before Ralf Rangnick begins his role as interim boss.
Then it’s on to Thursday night where the Red Devils welcome Arsenal to Old Trafford in what should be the German’s first game in charge.
Although, Rangnick may find himself unable to call upon two key United players for the Arsenal clash as Luke Shaw and Fred are the two who are walking the suspension tightrope.
As confirmed by the FA at the beginning of the season, any player who accumulates five bookings before the cut-off point of 19 matches will have to serve an automatic one-match ban.
With 12 games of the season gone for those not in action on Saturday, Shaw, Fred and the rest of United’s Premier League squad have another seven gameweeks to avoid a suspension.
However, because Shaw and Fred are on four yellow cards in the Premier League this season, it means they have to be careful.
Paul Pogba is also on four yellow cards, but will miss this afternoon’s game against the Blues through injury, therefore if one or both of Shaw and Fred is booked against Chelsea, they will miss the visit of Arsenal on Thursday night.
As a result, Carrick has somewhat of a dilemma on his hands.
Does he start Shaw and Fred against the Blues, thus running the risk of the pair picking up another yellow card that would rule them out of facing the Gunners?
With that said, Carrick may avoid having to make two tough decisions after revealing that both players are doubtful for the trip to Stamford Bridge and with the Manchester Evening News only spotting Fred’s arrival in London on Saturday evening.
“We’ve got two or three different little issues where we’re waiting,” Carrick said during his pre-match press conference. “It’s never ideal. You want a full squad to pick from.
“There is one or two that we’re kind of waiting on. Luke took a bang on the head, we’re assessing him and we’ll make a call on how he is. Fred twisted his ankle. He managed to carry on and see the game out, which is pretty incredible. He played a big part in us winning.
“We’ll have to see how that works out. We’ll be strong and look forward to the game.”
Source by Football London