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Nemanja Matic in Manchester United’s squad to face Arsenal

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Jose Mourinho doesn’t know if the defensive midfielder will be fit, but will take him along anyway.

Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The news is: there is no news. At least not yet. Nemanja Matic, who seems to be the difference between an organised Manchester United team and a ragged shambles of red-shirted buffoons, will travel to London this weekend. But he may not be fit enough to face Arsenal.

That’s the headline from today’s pre-match press conference, along with the news that Eric Bailly and Phil Jones both definitely won’t be going. As for the game itself, Jose Mourinho is sounding very Jose Mourinho about it all:

When we have the ball, we are going to attack with 11 players because even the goalkeeper needs to know what to do when we have the ball. When Arsenal has the ball, we are going to defend with 11 players.

Nobody needs 11 people to park a bus, so maybe that’s a good sign?

If Matic does miss out, then it will be interesting to see what Mourinho does with his midfield. Every decision has a knock on effect. Ander Herrera is the obvious replacement, but he lacks Matic’s defensive rigour. As such, Marouane Fellaini might come in to reinforce the middle alongside Herrera and inevitable Paul Pogba, and so Jesse Lingard — rather harshly — might be the one to miss out. Still, maybe he was always going to miss out. Who knows?