Five key talking points ahead of Old Trafford showdown between Man Utd and Arsenal
Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger renew hostilities as Manchester United host Arsenal in Saturday lunchtime's fascinatingly-poised Premier League encounter.
Here are five of the most important talking points ahead of the Old Trafford clash.
WENGER v MOURINHO
The testy relationship between the United manager and his Arsenal counterpart has intrigued onlookers over the years, on the sidelines and away from it. This will be the first time Mourinho has faced Wenger as United boss and does so two places and six points worse off than the fourth-placed Gunners. The Portuguese could do with a morale-boosting victory against Arsenal and his history certainly suggests he can. Mourinho has never lost to Arsenal in the Premier League, with the 2015 Community Shield triumph the only time Wenger has beaten Mourinho in 15 attempts.
Helping England to a 3-0 victory against oldest foes Scotland, picking up a knee injury and being plastered across the front and back pages - the last week has been frantic even by Wayne Rooney's standards. The 31-year-old apologised "unreservedly" to interim England boss Gareth Southgate, the Football Association and fans following the emergence of "inappropriate" images of him looking the worse for wear at a wedding party last weekend. Mourinho says that chapter is closed now and that his skipper is fit to face Arsenal. The forward has a fine record against the Gunners and this would be a timely moment to continue that.
SHAW AND SMALLING ISSUES
The positivity of a 3-1 win at Swansea before the international break was diminished somewhat by the Mourinho's barbed comments about Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling. The pair's pain threshold was seemingly called into question by the United boss, whose anger at the subsequent reporting about Smalling in particular was evident in Friday's press conference. Mourinho refused to talk about the England centre-back, who it is reported may not be play again before Christmas having broken a toe so badly in two places. Shaw, who was suffering pain in the leg he broke so horrifically in September 2015, is fully fit but whether Mourinho brings him back into the squad is another matter.
Wenger has been playing Alexis Sanchez as his main striker for much of the campaign to date and it has paid dividends as the former Barcelona man has already scored eight goals. But the 27-year-old could miss the trip to Old Trafford after suffering a hamstring injury while on international duty with Chile. Sanchez bagged a brace in the 3-1 World Cup qualifying win over Uruguay while carrying the problem and he will be assessed by Arsenal's medical staff having only returned to their London Colney training base on Friday.
JENKINSON SET TO BE DRAFTED IN
Carl Jenkinson last started a Premier League game for Arsenal back in August 2014 but the right-back is set to deputise for the injured Hector Bellerin on Saturday. After two loan spells at West Ham and a serious knee injury, Jenkinson has made his return in the Champions League and EFL Cup and is now set to step in for Wenger's men. He will have bad memories of Old Trafford, having been sent off in an 8-2 defeat for the Gunners in 2011.