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Man Utd boost as six key stars could all return for Arsenal clash

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MANCHESTER UNITED could see six star players return to the fold when they welcome Arsenal to Old Trafford on Sunday.

The Red Devils host the league leaders as they look to bounce back from their embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Monday night.

Erik ten Hag may have six key players return to the fold for Man Utd's clash with Arsenal this weekend

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Erik ten Hag may have six key players return to the fold for Man Utd’s clash with Arsenal this weekendCredit: Alamy
Bruno Fernandes could re-join the starting XI

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Bruno Fernandes could re-join the starting XICredit: Getty

Erik ten Hag pointed towards his side’s shocking injury record this season before the Eagles even ran riot over United.

Speaking before the game the Dutchman said: “For over 10 years I am managing, I never had this experience.

“So huge, so many injury issues, so I trust all my experience, it can happen once in 10 years. Hopefully now I have to wait another 10 to have so many injuries to deal with.”

Ten Hag has seen his side suffer over 60 separate cases of injury or illness this season, which has contributed to their turbulant campaign.

However, the 54-year-old could have six crucial players return this weekend to try and help his side pull off what would be huge win against Mikel Arteta‘s high-flying Gunners.

Bruno Fernandes missed out on the trip to Selhurt Park on Monday with injury after “fighting” to make the matchday squad.

Almost a week later and the Portuguese midfielder could be intention to start against Arsenal – a huge boost for United who looked lost without him against Palace.

Man Utd had to start with a centre-back partnership of Jonny Evans and Casemiro against Crystal Palace, but may be able to change that on Sunday.

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Fergie banned me from Man Utd press conferences SEVEN TIMES – I once rowed with him in the toilets

By SunSport’s Manchester United correspondent Neil Custis.

MUCH consternation recently at the news that three football writers were denied the chance to ask Erik ten Hag a question over three consecutive press conferences.

The dismay did not stretch to myself despite being one of those placed briefly on the naughty step.

I don’t agree with such ‘punishments’ for stories or opinions but Ten Hag has had to take a bucketload this season and has never been anything but polite and helpful.

So if he wanted to do something to have a go back for once, no problem.
It’s all sorted now and everyone is friends again.

Having been brought up on Sir Alex Ferguson press conferences and downright unfair bans of varying lengths, seven in my case, you become immune to middle-aged men having a hissy fit.

Recent events reminded me of a lovely warm day at the Haydock Thistle Hotel some years back, where North-West based managers and writers were all invited to a lunch.

Sir Alex was there on the main table laughing, singing and generally holding court when simultaneously all the writers’ phones bleeped with a message from United’s “no communication department”.

He had no doubt arranged for it to be sent bang in the middle of the lunch informing us all that relations would be suspended forthwith.

Our crime was to use his words from a local radio interview he had done that week and the controversial comments he made within it.

We were all fuming so, when he got up to leave I followed him out of the luncheon suite.

As I ranted about how unfair his actions were, he ignored me and walked on ahead, entering another room.

I followed, still ranting, but he kept his back to me and looked down silently.

Was he having a rethink as his gaze remained concentrated, his head stooped?

No, he was having a wee! We had entered the gents but, in my own hissy fit, I hadn’t quite realised.

I’m not sure what the hotel guest two urinals down made of it but how absurd the whole scene must have appeared.

Defeated and deflated, I returned to the luncheon where the free red wine got a hammering and I sulked.

There would be more such incidents, told and retold to this day with laughter.

I always say covering United when Sir Alex was boss was like a stay at Fawlty Towers — not particularly comfortable but certainly unforgettable.

Lisandro Martinez is back on the training pitch and could come straight into the starting XI to relieve midfielder Casemiro of his make-shift duties in the back line.

Another boost to the defence is Luke Shaw‘s return to training which would offer even more improvement at the back for Ten Hag.

Ten Hag’s six worst defeats as Man Utd manager

Only Fernandes and Rasmus Hojlund have scored more Premier League goals for United than Scott McTominay this season and the midfielder could be another welcome return to the squad for the Arsenal clash.

The Scot missed out on the Palace game with a knee injury, but is said to be due to return to training this week.

Another star that could make a return for this weekend’s match is Marcus Rashford who has still been nursing an injury he picked up during the FA Cup semi-final.

The England international has scored four goals in his last three league games against the Gunners and would be hoping to add to that if he made the squad in time for Sunday.

Anthony Martial is the final United star that could make a return for the clash.

The Frenchman hasn’t featured for the Old Trafford outfit since last year, but is back on the training pitch and could be called upon given the poor form on show from Ten Hag’s side.

Title challenging Arsenal look like they will head into the game with a fully fit squad – although there have been doubts around Takehiro Tomiyasu who is yet to train with the first team this week.

How United could line up against the Gunners
How United could line up against the Gunners
Marcus Rashford could make a return for the first time since the FA Cup semi-final

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Marcus Rashford could make a return for the first time since the FA Cup semi-finalCredit: Getty
Lisandro Martinez could relieve Casemiro of his centre-back duties

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Lisandro Martinez could relieve Casemiro of his centre-back dutiesCredit: PA
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